Page 157

DISCIPLINE • MORAL TOUGHNESS• COMPETENCE • COMMITMENT • TEAMWORK

RETURNING TO A MORE SCIENTIFIC APPROACH TO

NAVIGATING THE FUTURE THE MAP IS MADE BY LEARNING FROM MISTAKES

Apollo I: Grissom, White and Chaffee A January 27, 1967 fire killed the crew that named their own mission Apollo I. Subsequently, the names Apollo IIApollo 14 were named in honor of Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.

NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz helped lead the massive effort of putting a man on the moon, but before that happened, NASA faced a horrendous tragedy. After hearing the terrifying deaths of the Apollo I astronauts, Kranz declared: “Somewhere, somehow, we screwed up. It could have been in design, build, or test. Whatever it was, we should have caught it. Mission Control was behind in virtually every area… procedures changed daily.” “We were too gung ho about the schedule and we locked out all of the problems we saw each day in our work. Every element of the program was in trouble and so were we. The simulators were not working…

NOT ONE OF US STOOD UP AND SAID, ‘DAMMIT, STOP!’ …We are the cause! We were not ready! We did not do our job. We were rolling the dice, hoping that things would come together by launch day, when in our hearts we knew it would take a miracle.”

The Right Stuff NASA Flight Director, Gene Kranz ran Apollo 11 (the first landing on the moon) and Apollo 13’s safe return after an explosion. A topdown leader, he coordinated arguing and frantic teams. YouTube: Gene Kranz Mission Control Tough & Competent. He could be talking about “My City.”

“From this day forward, Flight Control will be known by two words: ‘Tough’ and ‘Competent.’ … These words are the price of admission to the ranks of Mission Control.” To be on the team, a daily recommitment to a list of core principles was required. It proved key to the success of the moon landing and was cited again after the Columbia disaster in 2003 as forgotten core values. The Challenge of the Modern Mayor is

leveraging the do-it-yourself spirit of citizens. As pictured above in 1900, Pasadena Mayor Horace Dobbins (32) built a cycleway in a time of handmade technology. “My City” provides the modern mayor a way of helping citizens help the city.

A STANDARD OF EXCELLENCE Planning efforts deliver diminishing returns. Excellent results require outstanding efforts. A SENSE OF BALANCE Over 3,200 deaths per day are due to traffic accidents. Public safety and urban design deserve greater attention. MIXING SEASONED LEADERS AND YOUNG VISIONARIES The average age of Kranz’s team was 26 years old. As advancing generations now run planning, the energy of forward thinking youth is lost (p.146). “My City” helps revitalize planning, getting a new generation involved in the future they will inherit.

The Double Bind of the Modern Planner, expects

them to lead both bottomup visioning and top-down logistics, both facilitator and advocate. A heroic effort ensues, but it is unreasonable to expect the same person to be both mariner and flight director. “My City” supports the heroic planner of today.

THE SURVIVOR’S SECRET: THE RISE OF GEEK CULTURE

DO-IT-YOURSELF Being good with hands-on challenges is the key to survival.

CONCLUSIONS

The movie “The Martian” wove the theme of geek culture through its storyline as NASA and Caltech-JPL famously rely on bottomup leadership from an odd assortment of peculiar visionaries adept at both science, technology and thinking outside the box.

PROPOSAL

YOU ARE HERE

Among his JPL-based rescuers is a very geeky JPL astrodynamicist, seen on the right showing his idea with a stapler, trying to get through to the top-down leadership of NASA.

MY CITY IN YOUR CITY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

157

ENDNOTES

Profile for mycityis

"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

"My City"  

"My City" tells the story of Pasadena’s City Beautiful Movement and the century that followed, exploring how this proven approach can be rev...

Profile for mycityis
Advertisement