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Planning Profession

Let Them Apply for Variances

Let Them Apply for Variances

If granting exceptions to your city’s planning rules is so common as to have become the norm, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the rules themselves.

Who Is the "Public" at Public Meetings?

Who Is the "Public" at Public Meetings?

New research out of Boston University confirms that those who speak at local public hearings are not representative of the public as a whole. Elected officials seeking to understand constituents’ views should treat these hearings as only one source among many.

Most Public Engagement Is Worse Than Worthless

Most Public Engagement Is Worse Than Worthless

Nothing good comes of public engagement in which the public isn’t asked questions they can meaningfully contribute to answering. This is not how you build a trusting relationship: a strong foundation on which to work together. This is how you corrode trust.

Most Public Engagement is Worthless

Most Public Engagement is Worthless

It is the experiences of real people that should guide our planning efforts. Their actions are the data we should be collecting, not their stated preferences.

Toward Dynamic Zoning Codes

Toward Dynamic Zoning Codes

A small change to zoning codes could help overcome some of the forces stifling growth in American cities and avoid displacement of long-term residents at the same time.

A Town Well Planned: Geographic Form Plans

A Town Well Planned: Geographic Form Plans

From the individual citizen to the federal bureaucrat, we need to start having a fundamentally different conversation about how we build our shared living spaces.

A Town Well Planned: Universal Form Codes

A Town Well Planned: Universal Form Codes

A basic universal code can help us create productive, economically successful developments while allowing for maximum flexibility for developers, business owners and residents.