For Best Printing Results, Use Print Button at Bottom of Article

Remembering the Big Picture

Read an excerpt from this article below. You can download the full article by using the link at the end of the excerpt.

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. ...

End of excerpt

Perry NortonThe late Perry Norton, FAICP, was past director of the American Institute of Planners; a Professor at New York University; and a long-time professional planner.

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.

Download PDF of Full Article