Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Frick on the Tea Party and planning

Karen Trapenberg Frick (Berkeley - Planning) has a really interesting article I just came across in the Summer, 2013 edition of the Journal of the American Planning Association entitled The Actions of Discontent:  Tea Party and Property Rights Activists Pushing Back Against Regional Planning.  Here is the abstract:

The Tea Party’s effects on local and regional planning efforts, given the movement’s fierce support of property rights and equally fierce opposition to sustainability goals in regional planning efforts, have received little study. I wanted to understand how Tea Party and fellow property rights advocates became involved in regional planning efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area and Atlanta, GA, and how planners perceived and dealt with their objections and tactics. Interactions between the two groups were marked by philosophical differences over the role of government and the necessity and value of regional planning. However, these actors were also deeply divided on plan content and the authenticity of the public outreach process. Tea Party and property rights activists were not the only ones with substantive and procedural concerns about regional planning efforts; tactical coalitions of unexpected allies emerged, aligning on plan viability, finance methods and funding, project costs, impacts, and process. My research shows that common ground can be negotiated between opposing groups on matters of content and process. The concerns of the various stakeholders involved parallel questions often addressed by scholarly planning research, providing evidence of continuing challenges and fl aws in planning. 

Takeaway for practice: The planning community should not dismiss the opposition of Tea Party and property rights advocates; these activists could catalyze new coalitions of opponents if planners do not attend to the substantive and procedural concerns of participants.

Cite:  Karen Trapenberg Frick (2013) The Actions of Discontent: Tea Party and Property Rights Activists Pushing Back Against Regional Planning, Journal of the American Planning Association, 79:3, 190-200, DOI:  10.1080/01944363.2013.885312.

(Note:  The full text of this article is currently available online without fee for those without a subscription.)

Stephen R. Miller

| Permalink