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What society wants from its planners is something more than the processing of permits. It would like the processing of some vision, as well.
What society wants from its planners is something more than the processing of permits. It would like the processing of some vision, as well. Not an easy row to hoe. But enormously fruitful if faithfully tended.
The question is often posed, however: how do we deal with the Big Picture when there are so many little pictures we're lucky to get home in time for the 11 p.m. news? One thing is certain: the board has to make it happen.
You're not likely to get a signed petition requesting that the planning board spend an evening brainstorming the future of Our Town. But, in fact, an agenda-free evening of free wheeling could have far reaching effects. Meet somewhere off campus, as it were. And start asking yourselves: Where is Our Town going? Is this where we want it to go? If it is, how can we help it get there? If it isn't, what can we do by way of a course correction? Our Town won't change into Utopia overnight, but at least the board will have some new benchmarks against which to consider the petitions and applications it receives. ...
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Norton was also one of the pioneers in online planning, and helped develop the first online planners discussion group on CompuServe in the mid-1980s.
He was a valued contributor to the Planning Commissioners Journal. See the left sidebar for links to his articles. For more on Norton.