Urban Planning in a Multicultural Society

By Michael A. Burayidi | Go to book overview

such interaction. For example, it may not be enough to simply post notices of public hearings or meetings on telephone poles or other structures in the public right-of-way to alert neighborhood residents of pending development proposals. Effective outreach may require polling prominent community representatives and others of the best way to get in contact with people. In some instances, posting of notices may be adequate. In others, contacting neighborbhood associations, religious organizations, social organizations, or other such entities may be required as well.

Ultimately, the most effective way to ensure participation of multicultural communities in public policy formulation via the planning process is to ensure balanced representation of community members on various boards and commissions that have responsibility for deciding planning issues. Ensuring that the professional and technical staffs employed to support such bodies is also reflective of the communities they collectively serve will increase the likelihood that sensitive and effective planning will take place.

Planning policy-makers, professionals, and advocates can contribute significantly toward establishing the information sources and designing the participatory processes essential to assuring that effecting planning in the twenty-first century is equated with embracing the whole of society, including its history, in establishing models to plan with rather than for the many cultures that comprise it.


NOTES
1
"Laborer" was broadly defined to include skilled and unskilled, thereby effectively precluding all but the very old and the very young from entering the country. By denying citizenship, the legislation erected a barrier to property and other forms of capital ownership to Chinese immigrants residing in the United States.
2
Recent legislative efforts such as California's Proposition 187, and the recently passed federal welfare reform legislation, to the extent that it deals with immigrant populations, have underscored the fact that the nation, and/or significant parts of it, still pursues efforts to exclude members of immigrant and ethnic populations from privileges enjoyed by other members of American society.
3
In denouncing the action of the United States Supreme Court, Frederick Douglass, a noted Abolitionist of the era, had these words to say:

It (the decision) presents the United States before the world as a nation utterly destitute of power to protect the constitutional rights of its own citizens upon its own soil.

It can claim service and allegiance, loyalty and life from them, but it cannot protect them against the most palpable violation of the rights of human nature,. . . It can tax their bread and tax their blood, but it has no protecting power for their persons. . . . It gives to the railroad conductor in South Carolina or Mississippi more power than it gives to the National Government. ( Douglas 1892, revised 1962:545)

-34-

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