An interesting article on Atlantic Cities explores planners frustrations with the Tea Party movement, and what that suggests about the relationships between “experts” and “the public” when it comes to planning:
Citizens must be truly involved with plans and projects, not just told that proposals will be good for them and society. A generation of planners and environmentalists has grown up dedicated to the notion of civic participation.
So it is with particular angst that many of these same planners now are forced to reckon with the modern-day Jane Jacobs, at least in terms of tactics and a libertarian streak: the Tea Party.
Across the country, Tea Party activists have been storming planning meetings of all kinds, opposing various plans by local and regional government having anything to do with density, smart growth, sustainability or urbanism. In California, Tea Party activists gained enough signatures for a ballot measure repealing the state’s baseline environmental regulations, while also targeting the Senate Bill 375, the 2008 law that seeks to combat climate change by promoting density and regional planning.
You can read more here. And scroll down to see Davenport Institute Director Pete Peterson’s response.