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The Grand Mix The Blending of Bottom-Up Visioning and Top-Down Logistics As Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek strives to “restore Pasadena to its rightful position as a model for other cities to emulate,” this document seeks to trace that reputation back to its source. In Terry Tornek’s mayoral election of 2015, Pasadena’s former Planning Director pointed out that planning g needs a more “bottom-up” approach. As that vision inspired this exploration, it has become a template to better understand the complicated relationships at play, encouraging the idea that “My City” can work today. The top-down and bottom-up metaphor is a useful way to understand the complexities of planning. The same idea could easily be insiders and outsiders or Pasadena’s organization chart which puts citizens on top, but is basically describing the same idea. While this exploration promotes a more bottom-up approach, there is also a need for a top-down approach in the later, logistical stages of planning. Abbot Kinney’s Library and Village Improvement Society (p.16) spent a decade building the essential bottom-up momentum needed by the top-down efforts that helped perpetuate that vision into ten libraries.

Dean Damon and the City Beautiful Movement’s “My City” process was also based on the marriage of bottom-up vision and top-down logistics, which they i called “beauty” and “order.” The exemplary results and cautionary tales of the history that follows are rooted in either the presence or the lack of this critical blending of bottom-up and top-down efforts. The term “Grand Mix,” in turn, is used to describe this blending of bottom-up vision with the top-down order needed to execute and sustain the effort. It is efficient and effective democracy at their best and the essential key to creating good government. Part II of this project is an exploration into how “My City” can be updated for any city today. Using a project-event-survey-plan approach, “My City” is designed to “support, not supplant” the existing process, presenting projects so they may be not approved, but improved,” as Dean Damon put it. This is the story of what made Pasadena a model for other cities to emulate, how the vision was lost, and how the public’s rightful place in the process can be restored using an exemplary approach to realizing an extraordinary vision that was called “My City.”

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CONTENTS

PREFACE

INTRO

MY CITY 1916

MAIN ST.

TODAY

LESSONS

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
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