What I’m Reading: Planners, Dreamers and Schemers

There is a lot of great stuff being written every day.  I can’t blog about it all. But I do want to highlight a theme that emerged from this week and then offer a brief summary below. This week’s theme:

 Planners: Schemers and Dreamers

In a field as broad as urban planning there are always different approaches being debated and discussed. This week I look at three that floated into my RSS feed.

First, the Planners Network U.K. (PNUK) argues planning itself needs a radical overhaul. They have released a draft of what they hope will become a manifesto for progressive urban planning in the United Kingdom. The group present a strong normative vision of planning, offers arguments about why the field requires an overhaul, and suggestions on how it can be achieved. Polis reports that  PNUK is organizing public discussions and debates on the manifesto over the next four months.

The Global Urbanist meanwhile argues that planning needs to be far more practical. It needs to focus on pinpointing problems and solving them with solutions that have timelines, budgets and schemes that are easily attained.

Lastly, the Guardian profiles an example of the emerging eco city trend in planning. Iskandar Malasia will be built as an ultra-modern “smart metropolis.” The city will be built from scratch and will be expected  to have a population of 3 million by 2025. Somehow it seems fitting that Pinewood Studios, a film and television studio,  and Legoland are two parties that have expressed support.

To summarize, planning needs an overhaul, and the solution to rapid urban growth is to ditch grandiose plans and focus on what is practical, and to build massive centrally planned sustainable cities, funded by Petrodollars, that will house millions.


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