plaNYC vs futurists

It is clear that adaptation and mitigation is necessary for the survival of our cities.The NYC DEP Climate Change Program Assessment and Action Plan properly enumerates thechallenges that threaten NYC and provides possible solutions to these problems. Ratcliffe and Krawczyk question their approach.

Do you think that the political system we currently inhabit prevents planners and politicians described by Ratcliffe and Krawczyk from becoming more ‘visionary’ in their approach to planning for NYC’s future?

How can we reconcile the risks and necessity of an ambiguous futurist approach to planning and make them more understandable, even palatable, for politicians, plannersand ultimately to the tax payers to whom they are responsible?

Do you think that the politicians and planners of today have lost the capacity for being
‘visionary’, because of the past follies of Robert Moses, and the negativity that association invites?

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2 Responses to plaNYC vs futurists

  1. Michelle Guo says:

    I do not believe the political system prevents planners and politicians from becoming more “visionary” in their approaches for planning for New York City’s future, but I would definitely say that it makes it more difficult for them to do so. The city planners are battling large, powerful, and wealthy corporations as well as those who support those corporations. This makes gaining monetary and social support trickier and more difficult.

    Uninformed individuals find risk management to be a more like a temporary and costly aid than a much needed solution. This is because there is no urgency or immediate danger if the futurist approaches are not enacted. However, humans are very visual and like instant gratification. They need to understand and see what will happen if climate change is ignored, the examples that have already occurred today, and how the world will be different after the approaches are enacted. While some politicians and planners may have lost the capacity for being “visionary,” I believe that most have continued to not hold back. The NYC Department of Climate Change Program Action Plan is innovative, realistic, and thorough.

  2. lawrence says:

    Politics can somewhat constrict planners’ ability to institute visionary plans for NYC’s future. Many politicians are concerned primarily with retaining political power, and making drastic moves may alienate public support. A majority of voters would be more pleased with short term benefits rather than planning for the long haul at the expense of taxpayers. Thus, they must find a delicate balance between adequately helping New York City adapt to climate change while maintaining the support of the people.

    Despite the glimmer of hope presented by Climate Change Program Action Plan, many politicians have taken a conservative stance on this issue. In economic terms, taxpayers would much rather see their dollars being spent in a tangible way. This mindset allows us to justify delaying the resolution of serious issues until later generations are forced to deal with them immediately. In essence, the far-off, distant crisis of today will eventually become the imminent danger of tomorrow.

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