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Strategic incrementalism and legacy cities. Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow Center for Community Progress. Two approaches to planning. Make no small plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood. -Daniel Burnham.

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strategic incrementalism and legacy cities
Strategic incrementalism and legacy cities

Alan Mallach, Senior Fellow

Center for Community Progress

two approaches to planning
Two approaches to planning

Make no small plans: they have no magic to stir men’s blood.

-Daniel Burnham

Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.

- John Lennon

making big plans
Making big plans

Master plans look good,

but do they work?

“Youngstown, Ohio’s groundbreaking plan

for revival collides with recession and hard

choices about neighborhood survival.”

Christian Science Monitor, May 29, 2009

big plans don t answer key questions
Big plans don’t answer key questions

Where do you start?

How do you

prioritize?

How do you deal with

the realities of limited

resources?

How do you adapt to

constant change?

what drives urban transformation
What drives urban transformation?

Mega-projects?

Incremental change?

change is the constant
Change is the constant
  • No city stands still. Incremental change – for good or bad – is constantly happening. The question is the direction of change.

Is it like this?

or

like this?

  • What makes the difference?
strategic incrementalism
Strategic incrementalism
  • A process of taking incremental steps grounded in a coherent vision of the future, anchored by market reality and local knowledge, implemented by targeting investment to further the vision.
what is a vision
What is a vision?

* * * *plan*** *

  • A vision is not a
  • A vision is a shared framework for thinking about the future of the city and its neighborhoods – as a physical, economic and social entity.
be visionary but realistic
BE visionary but Realistic
  • Understand market

conditions

  • Understand resource

constraints

  • Understand political

and social dynamics

  • Realistically value

local energy and

capabilities.

what is your vision of historic preservation
What is your vision of historic preservation?
  • What are you trying to save?
    • Buildings?
    • Neighborhoods?
    • Memories?
  • What are you trying to create?
    • A particular physical environment?
    • A sense of shared history?
  • What is your vision of the future city?
  • What is your role in fostering the future city?
what are the realities
What are the realities?
  • Market demand and financial resources are
  • limited
  • Historic preservation in
  • legacy cities always
  • Involves making choices.
  • This?

or This?

putting historic preservation in context
Putting historic preservation in context
  • Historic preservation is one strand among many that should animate the vision for the future city.
  • Historic preservation advocates need to be sensitive to the other strands – economic, physical, social, etc. and their advocates.
  • The vision for the future city needs to be a shared one – not a collection of separate, disparate, visions.
a counter intuitive conclusion
A counter-intuitive CONCLUSION
  • Plans and projects generally reflect incremental thinking.
  • Strategic incrementalism requires transformative thinking.