To achieve the maximum benefit — Planning makes perfect sense!

Elenor Roos

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is credited with this saying and I couldn’t agree withthe former First lady more. To achieve the maximum benefit of your work you need to plan it out by following the process to a logical conclusion — not just wish it so. Complex problems like urban development, place making and industry building requires serous planning and is best when there is an open process that includes as many stakeholders as possible.

Think about the process as an exercise that provides you, the planner, with the input and knowledge to help build a consensus. That’s we do in every part of life. Marketers call the process market analysis where they go through an extensive review process to see how the consumer will respond. Developers do it through market analysis and feasibility studies. Lenders do it again so they have their own set of numbers and market evaluation. Politicians when running for office (some while in office) do polls of pubic opinion. All of this is commonplace and is not really new ground. There are dozens of examples of how we use the planning process starting in the home when your mother would sample the Formula on her wrist to see if it was too hot — testing and planning for the best results.
A good urban plan that is intended to form public policy goes even deeper. It will look at long ranges trends in and out of the subject market. It will look for competitive advantages and will gather all of this intelligence into one center location to develop the plan and action steps.
Frankly, short circuiting the process because you have a vision will result in “surprises” that will come back later as a bigger problems that would have been had they been revealed during the vetting of the initial concept development. By bypassing the review and debate almost always guarantee the deal killing issues will later be even harder to solve or maybe will cause the whole project to fail.
My opinion, I would love to hear from you.
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