10 responses to “Stop Making Sense: A new strategy for community outreach

  1. enf1234567890

    Not sure why you think David Byrne would object—he does urbanism outreach himself. http://journal.davidbyrne.com/2011/10/10312011-bogota-part-1.html

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  3. Matthew

    I think the best way to approach the group is in a more reductive vein that appeals to their generally Libertarian beliefs: That we’re not adding more regulations, but are in fact getting rid of the rules and funding that in many cases prohibit our cities from forming in more sustainable patterns.

    If you can make them understand that if we remove all the subsidies, policies and government influence that has brought about the current type of development that most planners are trying to now prohibit, there would be no need to implement what they feel are draconian measures.

    I’m not suggesting anyone use this kind of language but borrowing from the opposition, planners should be stating that what we’re trying to do is remove the federal, state and local monies and regulations currently subsidizing the suburbs to the point that they are small enough to drown in a bathtub.

  4. Ben Brown

    Yep, Matthew, that’s an approach that would begin to engage many of those who lean towarads libertarian perspectives. But the libertarians who are ideologically consistent — Ron Paul, for instance — are in a tiny minority, oftentimes because they default to reason-first strategies for selling their positions. By prioritizing personal liberty over all the other “moral receptors” Jon Haidt talks about, then shaping policy arguments from that priority, pure libertarians end up arguing for the legalization of marijuana and prostitution, doing away with tax deductions for mortgages, cutting defense spending, and a bunch of other stuff beloved by powerful constituencies. I think the better approach is get to a place where discussions engage all of the intuitive biases, relax everybody’s defensive postures, and build enough trust to finally engage rational, give-and-take conversation.

  5. Mitchell

    So we have come to the point where we are fully accepting that ‘your ignorance is as good as our knowledge’?

  6. Ben Brown

    We have come to the point where, if we have any expectations of a conversation that leads somewhere, we’re unlikely to start with the demand that everybody agree it’s a competition between “our knowledge” and “your ignorance.”

  7. sprawlsucks

    The point we have come to is that today’s pro-sprawl conservatives are, in fact, over-regulating, tax-and-spend, Me Generation liberals, while today’s anti-sprawl liberals are actually morally-grounded, small-government, conservation-minded conservatives yearning to protect God’s Creation.

  8. Stacy J. Guffey

    Better to focus less on the attention grabbers – radical Agenda 21ers, conspiracy theorists and the like and focus more on the self-identified conservatives and libertarians who, because they intuitively want to protect their self interest, are pro-planning and pro-property protection regulations on the local level. The area where I live is full of those folks and many of them, because of the right’s rush to the radical, feel ignored.

  9. sprawlsucks

    Given all the various right wing dirty dealing going on these days in everything from electoral fraud to voter intimidation and climate change denying to attacks on unions, one can only wonder if these Tea Partiers, with their fascist, brown shirt-style tactic of disrupting city planning meetings aren’t, in fact, paid by corporate profiteers in the auto, oil and associated sprawl industries to attend these meetings and give other attendees the false impression that sprawl is preferred by the majority.

    Perhaps it is best, Stacy, we focus less on these phony attention grabbers and, if necessary, have them removed by security at the first inkling of trouble. Questions are one thing; shouting down speakers is another.

  10. Pingback: The Passion of Place | PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

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