Urban Planning in a Multicultural Society

By Michael A. Burayidi | Go to book overview

In my view I can discern no malevolence on the part of planners toward ethnic and racial groups. I do, however, think that planners were responding to prevailing cultural assumptions of their time and to some extent planners were also the foot soldiers of the elite in society, carrying out the orders in the trenches for their masters. That is why planners must have greater sensitivity to the values and aspirations of the people with whom they plan. This sensitivity will be forthcoming if planners learn to plan with rather than for the people.

Holistic planning will sensitize planners to the diversity of cultures in the country, reduce conflicts between planners and ethno-cultural groups, and legitimize planning among these groups by presenting an unbiased approach to community development. These qualities are needed of the planning profession to make it relevant in the twenty-first century.


NOTE
1
Although there was discrimination against some European ethnic groups such as the Irish and Poles, these groups were able to assimilate more easily into mainstream American culture than racially different ethnic groups, such as the Chinese and African Americans.

REFERENCES

Alinsky Saul. Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, New York: Vintage Books, 1971.

Adams Frederick J. and Gerald Hodge. "City Planning Instruction in the United States: The Pioneering Days, 1900-1930". Journal of the American Institute of Planners, vol. 31, February 1965:43-51.

Banks James A. "Multicultural Education: Development, Paradigms and Goals" in James Banks and Banks (eds.) Multicultural Education in Western Societies, 1986:2-28.

Banks James A. "Multicultural Education: Development, Dimensions, and Challenges" Phi Delta KAPPAN, September 1993:22-35.

Baum Howell S. "What is to be Learned? Alternative Views of Planning Theory-In-Use" Paper Presented at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning, 24th Annual Conference, Chicago, October 1982.

Beauregard Robert. "Planning in an Advanced Capitalist State" in Robert W. Burchell and George Sternlieb (eds.) Planning Theory in the 1980s: A Search for Future Directions, New Brunswick, NJ: Center for Urban Policy Research. 1978.

Beauregard Robert. "Without a Net: Modernist Planning and the Postmodern Abyss" Journal of Planning Education and Research, vol. 10, no. 3, 1991:189-94.

Constitution of the American Institute of Planners, Article II "Purposes" in American Institute of Planners Handbook and Roster, 1965.

Cubberley E. P. Changing Conceptions of Education, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1909.

Davidoff Paul. "Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning". Journal of the American Institute of Planners, vol. 31, no. 4, 1965:331-38.

Deacon Thomas J. Becoming American: An Ethnic History, New York: The Free Press. 1983.

Fitch Nancy E. "Multiculturalism and Diversity or Business as Usual in the TwentiethCentury".

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