When You Put It That Way, It Sounds So Simple

After nearly 10 weeks (!) immersed in planning classes and agonizing over where I belong in the world outside the classroom, this week’s readings in my theory class provided some much needed reminding that the world is in desperate need of all kinds of planners, and regardless of what I decide to do in the future, I want to really develop and polish my writing thinking and speaking skills during my time at U of T. (There certainly are enough assignments to help with that goal, now to focus and deliver my best effort).


Planners who hope to pursue an equity agenda must speak and write and as well as think and calculate. They must develop an articulate voice, organizing attention to issues and maintaining credibility even when data are inadequate and tempers are short. They must face the challenge of being persuasive without being manipulative. They must face uncertainty without being paralysed by it. Faced with the real complexity of housing or transit or service delivery problems, they must select which issues to focus upon and which to put aside. They must be articulate organizers as well as clear-thinking analysts. Gauging what to say and what not to say, when and how to speak to be understood, whether to be challenging or not, encouraging or not – all these are practical problems of rhetoric, of speech and writing..”~ Krumholz and Forester, Making Equity Planning Work

If planners consistently place before their political superiors analyses, policies and recommendations which lead to greater equity, and if they are willing to publicly join in the fight of the adoption of these recommendations, some of them will be adopted when the time is ripe. It is this process conducted with verve, imagination, and above all with persistence, that offers the planner challenging and rewarding work and a better life for others.~ Norman Krumholz, A Retrospective View of Equity Planning Cleveland 1969-1979


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