When we resist (pt 3)

What can planners do to work with the people? To phrase it in a dirtier way: how do they plan it so that they don’t get resisted?

Some planners do it with force and violence. Perhaps not everyone will trash their old rules to adopt those of the planners, but they sure will abide by it. The end result is something fancy people call “a revolution.” Some planners would consider that “being resisted.”

Some planners just let the locals take care of themselves. Let them be their own tribe if they wish. Part 2 talked about how if left to their own device people tend to segregate. However, the opportunity cost of such a case, in terms of reduced diversity and coordination, should be apparent. There’s less creativitiy, as the number of new patents and economic growth plummets as social cohesion increases in a community (Bishop, 2008:142). Plus when the difference along some features (race, gender, politics,…) between us and them become starker in our minds, it’s only a matter of time before the ugly wheels of discrimination start turning. There’s no resistance, but most likely something will rot and eventually crumble.

To think about what would be the answer it’s best to think of when planners succeeded the most: the U.S. New Deal during the Great Depression, the immense growth in America and Japan after WWII. The common theme: cross-cutting issues. The dire need for financial growth and the euphoric sense after victory is present in everyone’s mind, regardless of the differences in their social identities. Trust in the government was extremely high due to recent (for the specific period) demonstration of competency of our leaders. There were common enemies for all subsections of the population: poverty and Nazies. Real enemies provide real uniting effects.

What real enemies are there for contemporary planners to point everyone’s attention towards? Some arguable ones are neo-liberal capitalistic growth (non-elites don’t benefit) and environmental concerns (some may lose their jobs). There’s a real boogeyman for starters: climate change. Or at least, the prospect of climate change (already real in some “far away” lands however). In addition, the prospects of global pandemics, of solar flare EMP, of mass starvation and unemployment, of worsened air and water,… To ensure proper (as in to reduce resistance) planning, planners need to “get real” and deal with cross-cutting issues. Alas, if only solving real issues were profitable.

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