Monday, 28 October 2013

Seminar 5: The Communicative Turn in Planning Theory and its Implications for Spatial Strategy Formation: By P Healey

In this paper Patsy Healy outlines the shift that planning has experienced throughout its history. Urban and Regional planning initially wasn't really planning at all, it was more just design architects trying out there plans to build urban areas not really taking into account the community or practicality of that. Then planning moved on to understanding you need to plan urban and regional areas for them to work efficiently, so planners would draw maps and implement them with the best of intentions but these maps, designs and plans were doomed to fail for one key reasons, if you don’t communicate with the community either the plan won’t work in that community or an amazing plan for that community was designed and it is really what the community needs but they will reject it because they feel like they haven’t been consulted and their concerns have been skipped over .

Patsy Healy recognised this, and took not of a shift in planning theory from just plan, design implementation to consult, plan, consult, design, consult, implement, and receive feedback and criticisms. This shift in planning theory was huge for many reasons one your plans were/are effective in that community, two it increased the time and planning spent on design, increased the planning processed involved in urban and regional planning and flow onto to an evolution in how to consult with an increase in the quality of technology. Within the seminar the example given showing how community consultation has evolved in planning theory and spatial strategy was the Newport local development plan.  The Newport local development plan used advanced planning techniques to improve the towns community, economy and environment they began this with a comprehensive consultation and background research they then developed land use plans and land requirements for spatial strategy, looked at employment and education to improve the local economy, consulted through many different and open forums such as the internet, town hall, phone, community facilities, libraries and around the town more generally. The addressed and resolved issues consulted again and then finalised the report document and submitted it for critique. This resulted in a workable plan for the community and improved the economy, environment and community.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Seminar 4 - Contested Cities: Social Process and Spatial form

This seminar was based around David Harvey’s work on social process and spatial forms. David Harvey touches on big issues for planning and constructing cities and also developing current urban areas and making them work. Community vs. functionality is a big issue and it’s hard to say which one is better, what good is a great community which can’t function? And what good is a well functioning urban area without community? One could argue you can’t have a good community that can’t function and you can’t have a functioning urban area without community, it doesn’t work like that, there has to be a balance.

D Harvey touches the fact that the urban landscape of the city creates fundamental social inequalities. A class and income effect which means some people will thrive earning a lot of money and living in affluent areas, well others dwindle living in poor and dessalent areas. You can’t have the one extreme without the other and this creates great urban expanses such as expensive aesthetic buildings and areas as well as urban downfall secluded societies in the form of slums. This seems to be unavoidable in today’s society and with vastly increasing populations in major urban areas it only seems to be getting more extreme.

Solving this problem is where the community vs. functionality comes into things. If you redevelop a slum you have to deliver a dense urban development to house the residents of the slum in and the maintenance of that new urban area will only happen if the residence are happy and want the new development, many are not. The slums may be dirty and not nice to look at but they have a strong sense of community as shown in the documentary slumming it so to just redevelop it you have to consider how the community would continue to work and make the urban landscape look nicer. Not just develop non- functioning vertical slums.