360 ° Livable Urbanism

The Importance of Making Cities Places - Planning towards livable cities

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    The role of the urban planner in the modern society as an active implementer bridging facilitation and consensus building

    Mikkel Sølbeck
    Apr 8, '17 1:00 AM EST

    The role and nature of planning in the humanity have a very noticeable influence on the development of our system mutually funded socially, economically and environmentally.  The planner has to be conscious about the potential outcome of the process of building policies and developing the city landscape in order to take the full responsibility of the planning. But how do we as planners in practice cope with the mixture of different interest, values and contextures?

    Multifarious process with many beliefs and perceptions

    The process of development is not without restrictions and barriers with plenty of factors influencing the development as a result making the planning progression sometimes complex. The process is multifarious involving numerous of interest, values and sectors that have to fully consider implementing synergy and accepting political context.    

    The political context is not continuously durable as it relies on many beliefs and interest in order to obtain consensus. Every actor and stakeholder has their own contextual background and perception based on best practices within their segment of interest. The different insights can be a significant barrier along the process of building consensus, nevertheless it can be a noteworthy potential gain to improve and heighten the result of the development. The planner has a deep influence on how to build trust and unify the different perspectives along the facilitation process.

    The planning process can basically be distinguished as a process, which depends on social interaction with the civil society. It is a dynamic multifarious process consequently the policy formulation must deal with this. The policy formulation is not a final, formal plan or reaching everlasting harmony and peace in the society. It is an iterative process of building up better cities by active governance joined with public participation.

    The role of governance in our society

    The active governance-practice has in particular a significant role as it can generate various assets in the urban area and the spatial organization is central to establish an efficient system. A well-designed governance process has a lot of beneficial assets in terms of distributive justice and vitality in the society to enhance it. It is not only a platform, where things can happen, but it is also far more complex as the process consists of multiple relations as it is a mixture of nodes, networks, places and flows, which involves multiple of relations, activities, values, interactions, conflicts and dominations.

    Navigating in the scope of planning context

    The planner should be the facilitator and linking part in the planning process of building the relational, vital consensus by founding synergy through collective actions in the formal and informal practice to pursuit various values of interest. The planner has a profound duty to guide the public and politicians in the planning process by actively using the qualified basis and the theories of practice. We should not only rely on the existing core of basis of capabilities and practices, but similarly stimulate new pioneering ways of planning-practicing with the possible result of making our society more liveable based on quality of living.  

    The society is closely drifted by the economic mechanisms making it occasionally difficult to implement a fully diverse strategy that not only considers economics, but also includes social capital and the living environment amongst us. The economic agenda can sometimes distract and disorient the developing process of planning to potentially making our cities and land working in a social and economical poorer state. We can only as planners use our diplomacy to make the actors and stakeholders aware about the outcome and potentials of implementing long term strategies that also funds social and environmental values complementing the interest of the development.

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About this Blog

360 ° Livable Urbanism is featuring articles with subjective approaches and theories on how to actively contribute as urban planners in today’s modern society with different thematic inputs to sustain and innovate the way we as highly diverse planners facilitate the process of planning towards sustainable cities in balance with the current policy framework, sectors, interest and other relevant aspects.

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