Planning should be about people. First and foremost, this means the public – the people who have to live, work and play in the places that we plan. But it’s also about developers, politicians and planners – the people who want to develop buildings and places, and who decide what does and doesn’t get built. And so often planning gets personal – it ends up being not about what’s being proposed, but about much deeper issues of how different groups of people have felt excluded from decision-making.
Because planning can be so emotive, understanding people is a critical part of planning. Good planning is not just about designing environments: it’s also about being sensitive to people’s behaviour and needs, and helping everyone to negotiate their way through the planning and development process. We should never forget how horrendously complicated it is to the vast majority of people who may only get involved in it once in their lifetime.
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