Soft Infrastructure for Hard Times: Collaborative Planning for the (Re)Building of Better Homes, Towns and Cities (2019)
Disaster recovery involves the restoration, repair and rejuvenation of both hard and soft infrastructure. In this report we present observationsfrom seven case studies of collaborative planning from post-earthquake Canterbury, each of which was selected as a means of better understanding ‘soft infrastructure for hard times’. Though our investigation is located within a disaster recovery context, we argue that the lessons learned are widely applicable. Our seven case studies highlighted that the nature of the planning process or journey is as important as the planning objective or destination. A focus on the journey can promote positive outcomes in and of itself through building enduring relationships, fostering diverse leaders, developing new skills and capabilities, and supporting translation and navigation. Collaborative planning depends as much upon emotional intelligence as it does technical competence, and we argue that having a collaborative attitude is more important than following prescriptive collaborative planning formulae. Being present and allowing plenty of time are also key. Although deliberation is often seen as an improvement on technocratic and expertdominated decision-making models, we suggest that the focus in the academic literature on communicative rationality and discursive democracy has led us to overlook other more active forms of planning that occur in various sites and settings. Instead, we offer an expanded understanding of what planning is, where it happens and who is involved. We also suggest more attention be given to values, particularly in terms of their role as a compass for navigating the terrain of decision-making in the collaborative planning process. We conclude with a revised model of a (collaborative) decision-making cycle that we suggest may be more appropriate when (re)building better homes, towns and cities.
CitationVallance S, Edwards S, Conradson D, Karaminejad Z (2019). Soft Infrastructure for Hard Times: Collaborative Planning for the (Re)Building of Better Homes, Towns and Cities. National Science Challenge. Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. National Science Challenge.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research33 - Built environment and design::3304 - Urban and regional planning::330408 - Strategic, metropolitan and regional planning
33 - Built environment and design::3304 - Urban and regional planning::330401 - Community planning
33 - Built environment and design::3304 - Urban and regional planning::330405 - Public participation and community engagement
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