Planning is not design

Communities do not plan for their development in the same manner as an architect or an engineer can design a building or a bridge.

The element of design is lacking and without a designer we do not have an end image or an end product. Only the designer can produce these products.

This is one of reasons why one of the first steps taken by those involved in the development of community will seek out a landscape plan for streets and sidewalks or the layout for an industrial park or other elements that can be designed.

Like buildings, these can be designed and developed according to the design plan.  Planning goes on with or without these designed elements.  

This of course, is one of the main reasons why the term “planning” rather than designing is applied to what might give a type of order to development.  It is the process and not a design in itself that is emphasized.

The community planning process depends on the day-to-day workings of the market, the would-be developers, the actions of politicians and on the administrators involved.

The end document, often referred to as the “master plan” appears to give a fixed order to the process and therefore gains a sort of predictive reverence.

A community plan first of all lacks a designer, therefore becomes a nebulous document to begin with. It is subject to interpretation by various people over a period of time. Therefore it is not functioning as an approach to a design, often not the discharging process of the design and even of the ultimate goals or objectives.

My experience with the development of “new towns” around London in England was one where urban designers brought both the planning and development of these towns closest to the discharge of a design.

Therefore, what is lacking in community and urban planning especially in this country is that essential element of urban design and the designer who guides and fulfills the intention of the design.

The element of design in Europe is indicated in the name of the profession, "architect/planner."

Those involved in this process in communities like Shorewood, cannot possibly be involved in this design process of community but only in the on-going planning procedures.

This when closely examined is a process of taking what we know of the past and extending that into the future in the form of document and not design.  The document then becomes a legal reference point. 

The Glendale shopping mall, whether for good or for bad was designed. 

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