There is an emerging sense, especially among young practitioners and scholars, that the planning field has lost its agency to incite positive change in our cities and regions. The perceived trivialization of the planning profession originates in large part from a loss of professional identity, authority, and vision beginning with democratic reform movements in the 1960s and 1970s. Many argue that rather than formulators and implementers of forward-thinking plans, the profession is now reduced to administering code and facilitating process. Others contend that the field’s redefined role gives it new legitimacy to tackle to pressing challenges of the 21st century. This issue of Carolina Planning explores the relevancy and role of the planning profession through a rich array of analyses, case studies, and commentary.
The theme for this issue was inspired by UNC-Chapel Hill planning Professor Thomas J. Campanella, who captured the aforementioned zeitgeist of the field last summer in his powerful essay entitled: “Jane Jacobs and the Death and Life of American Planning”. No longer capable of “bringing about more just, sustainable, healthful, efficient and beautiful cities”, he argues that the blame for the current state of the planning field rests squarely at the feet of Jane Jacobs and her contemporaries. Campanella identifies three products of this adverse legacy: a) the abandonment of physical design as the disciplinary center of the planning field, b) the prioritization of public participation over professional judgment, and c) the loss of professional courage and vision.
Editors: David Daddio and Ashley Williams
A digital version of this edition is available here.
|VIEWPOINTS ON REGAINING RELEVANCY
Malizia, Emil; Susskind, Lawrence; Garvin, Alexander; Grden, Nancy
Four planners from a diversity of backgrounds provide their views on the role of planners and the future of the planning profession. At times provocative and critical of the profession, this variety of perspectives is meant to encourage and provoke further conversation surrounding the purpose of our profession and the changes we need to make.
|MAKING COMPREHENSIVE PLANNING RELEVANT: RALEIGH’S 2030 COMPREHENSIVE PLANBowers, Ken; Sandeep, Dhanya Purushothaman
This article explores the relevance of the planning profession and the value of comprehensive plans as an effective planning tool, through a single case study: Raleigh’s recently adopted 2030 Comprehensive Plan. The plan is simultaneously a blueprint for the future and a forum for an ongoing discussion about the future of Raleigh. The plan achieved these outcomes by virtue of the process that created it, the framework under which it is implemented, and the standing commitment to keep the plan current and accountable over time. Raleigh’s success story with the adoption of the 2030 Comprehensive Plan highlights the role of comprehensive plans in guiding communities towards long-term success.
|EXPANDING OUR INFLUENCE: EMBRACING CONTROVERSY AND SEIZING OPPORTUNITYHitchings, Ben; Waldon, Roger
Two factors often shape the outcome of community planning efforts – how planners handle controversy and how they seize opportunity. This article characterizes these factors, identifies strategies to address them, and presents several case studies to illustrate these techniques in practice. In so doing, it offers insights on how to turn a community’s passions to productive use and expand our influence as planning professionals.
|THE TWISTED SISTERS: DISPUTING ICONIC URBAN DESIGNGrant, Jill L.; Gillis, Chloe
An analysis of a dispute over high-rise buildings proposed for downtown Halifax, Canada, reveals the ascendance of new popular theories affecting planning discourse, processes, and outcomes. The dispute pitted advocates of iconic urban design against groups committed to heritage conservation in an older urban district. Project proponents employed urban design ideas to weaken heritage protection (historic preservation) and used creative class arguments to support high-rise structures in a low-rise zone. The case provided part of the context within which the city ultimately developed urban design policies and plan processes that substitute public participation with professional expertise.
|DESIGNREVIVAL24: AN EXAMPLE OF INNOVATIVE PLANNING AND DESIGNER VOLUNTEERISMLagueux, Scott
Whether referred to as the Great Recession, the Global Financial Meltdown, or the “Great Reset,” the net effect of the economic correction of the late-2000s is a strain on America’s psyche and self confidence. This article chronicles one group of planners and designers’ efforts to find inspiration during the economic downturn through development of an intensive, collaborative, 24-hour community design initiative entitled DesignRevival24. It identifies the process established for DesignRevival24 and its application in the community of Bluefield, West Virginia during the spring of 2011. There is an increasing need in communities for ideas, inspiration, and early planning and design concepts to help jumpstart revitalization efforts that tap into a variety of public and private funding outlets. DesignRevival24 provides a unique avenue for achievement of these ends for the right community.
|REGAINING LEGITIMACY: EQUITY PLANNING FOR THE 21ST CENTURYMironova, Oksana; Larson, Scott
Over the past several decades the planning discipline assumed a supportive role in the planning process; facilitating development while losing its consideration for equity. Responsibility for both urban planning, and for project funding, shifted to localized forms of government. The increasing influence of private funding interests in planning sidelined the role of the planner further. In this article, the authors trace the conditions that led to this crisis in planning and offer thoughts on potential solutions. They argue that the urban planning profession can regain its purpose and legitimacy only by reconnecting with its roots of planning for equity—not just development.
|REINFORCING OUR RELEVANCY IN LOCAL CONTEXT
CASE STUDIES FROM NCAPA CONTRIBUTORSFrancis, Judy; Simmons, Glenn; Liles, Corey; Quinn, Lori; Suttle, Bryman
Carolina Planning regularly publishes a feature highlighting projects from members of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (NCAPA). This year’s submissions focus on initiatives that are reinforcing the relevancy of planning in various North Carolina communities. From case studies discussing the role of robust plans in shaping the future of a community to articles highlighting the importance of using data to help inform planning activities and funding, these writers provide valuable insights into the important role North Carolina planners play in shaping the futures of their communities.
|2011 BEST DCRP MASTER’S PAPER: CHARACTERIZING THE AIR QUALITY AND DEMOGRAPHIC IMPACTS OF AIRCRAFT EMISSIONS AT THE HARTSFIELD-JACKSON ALTANTA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTRissman, Jeffrey|
|FINAL THOUGHTSCampanella, Thomas J.|