Download After the Planners by Robert Goodman PDF

By Robert Goodman

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Most archi­ tecture in our cities falls far short of the modern move­ ments theories, and if one benefit of town planning in Britain has been to save our cities from some of the worst American excesses, it has been achieved through the maintenance of a drabness and conformity which may in the long run be worse. If the problems which Goodman cites have a familiar ring to them for the British reader, it is because the gods of architectural fashion are international, and the ideology they sub­ scribe to is elitist and paternalist at best.

56 I With a Little Help from the Experts The contemporary planners inherit a proud tradition of service, an egalitarian ethic, and a pragmatic orientation to betterment that are as old as the early social reform move­ ments that spawned the profession. The caretaker of the idea of progress during the long years when it lay in dis­ repute in respectable quarters, the planner is now being wooed as the Cinderella of the urban ball. 1 —Melvin M. " —Neighborhood resident responding to the introduc­ tion of a city planner at a meeting in Boston “To h e l l w i t h u r b a n r e n e w a l," read an enormous sign on the front lawn, all but blocking out the small house behind it.

Soon other em­ battled groups began asking for our services. We formed an organization called Urban Planning Aid and, with the help of other volunteer urban experts and a small staff paid for by private foundations and government grants, we began to expand our work. It seemed we had found an important way for profes­ sional planners to be relevant to some very important social problems. Expertise at the disposal of the poor was going to counter the arguments and programs of the government’s bureaucrats.

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