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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Agreeing to Disagree: A Three Dimensional Framework for Planning Without Consensus

  • Author(s): Christensen, Karen
  • Drury, David
  • et al.

This essay proposes a structure and process for doing city master planning where there is no consensus on goals. It evolved from an attempt to help the city of Berkeley prepare to revise its Master Plan. Accordingly, our recommendations take into account Berkeley's unusually convoluted and polarized political situation, while affirming that the city's diversity is its richness. The proposal is meant to help Berkeley renew its tradition of innovative, respon­ sive planning. In doing so, the proposal presents a general scheme for helping cities when traditional approaches break down in discord. Key assets of the approach include flexibility, variability, and the capacity to accommodate diversity.

Since the framework is designed specifically for Berkeley's partic­ ular problem context the essay stresses how Berkeley's planning history led to its current planning impasse. The proposal follows, and we conclude with some notes on its implementation and wider applications.

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