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Reconnecting Vision and Results The great challenges faced by the next generation are common to all nations. While nations struggle to solve these issues, cities offer great opportunities for change, where the challenges appear in everyday life and the fruits of planning and action can be experienced first-hand.

Expecting a top-down planning department to create the bottom-up momentum needed for the public’s ideas and vision is unrealistic. Just as it’s impossible to make home-made cookies in a factory, for a top-down planning agency to suddenly implement grass-roots planning is a contradiction of both its structure and its inherent nature.

2. Refinement

How Citizen Input Works Now

4. Revitalization

However, for cities to thrive, people need to feel at home in the public sphere; that they are full participants and An ongoing conversation is what allowed Abbot Kinney not spectators; that they are respected and that their and Dean Damon to make big plans (p.192). As cities voices and priorities matter. Though planning requires continue inviting public input, citizens often perceive expertise as projects approach construction, the early planners are going through bottom-up motions without visioning stages need the input, ideas, the authenticity of potential momentum 3. Inversion background and the commitment of and too often people leave feeling that citizens for the results they will live in their involvement in planning their city’s to be realistic and effective. future is a waste of their time. How to Revitalize Planning

Pasadena’s citizen-led commissions The answer to inertia, needless complexity are effective in rendering opinion, but and citizen disconnect can be found it is often too late in the process. In in the City Beautiful Movement and an effort to involve more people, the Old Pasadena in the 1980s, when more 1. Invention city also invites citizens to “charrette” involved citizens accomplished from The Natural Cycle of Change or develop and share their vision. below what the top-down approach of the This pattern is introduced on page 20 The public brings worthy ideas with time could not, providing the patience and recurs on pages 88, and 156. the expectation that the invitation is required to create lasting momentum. sincere and that planners can advance their vision. A return to the approach of 1916 is a proven solution to This interchange is a regular staple of municipal this broken link in the public planning process. Bottomgovernment. The idea is shared and a polite nod given by up, participatory planning has the potential to help create the capable planner or council member, often knowing more informed and involved citizens, and along the way, they lack the time or resources to lead effort needed, and to build a better city in the process. “My City” is a path the proposal is lost and forgotten. home and into the future. Both the Natural Cycle (above) and the Bottom-Up/Top-Down themes weave through pages 20-23, 79, 91, 105, & 116.








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"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