Month: June 2012

learning from beginners

Yesterday I had the fun privilege of being one of the guest reviewers for the first studio presentation by Urban Planning students in the GSD’s summer Career Discovery program.  It was really inspiring, watching students new to the discipline — and coming from diverse educational and personal backgrounds — discovering and struggling through some of the fundamental questions of planning.  Who decides?  What is a good place?  Who are places for?  Do cars bring activity or deaden it?  How do places change and improve, and can you plan for organic transformation?  Does a neighborhood need a uniform brand, an identifiable character? But there were some other themes and questions that developed over the day that were new to me, or were expressed in new ways.  They were very interested in pace — the pace at which we move through the city, and what it takes to interrupt our frantic pace to introduce lingering, stopping. They also engaged time through questions of temporality and permanence, of incremental steps versus big gestures. And perhaps most interestingly, many …