Why is it so important for cities to have a vision and stick to it?
One of the key benefits of thinking collaboratively about a desired future state is the prompt it provides to reflect on the city we have now – ‘the given city’. Much of the complex systems at play in the given city, are underpinned by hard and soft infrastructure, conceived in previous eras, and largely delivered by a top-down culture.
Questions arise as to which stakeholders have shaped the city, who now benefits from the city’s weave of infrastructure, and whether the rigid complexity of the current ‘operational city’ prevents little more than incremental reform.
Thinking about the ‘future city’ releases the ‘what-if’ imagination, and creates a focus on what might be the future shape of success. Progressive cities seek to engage citizens in the co-production of the future city. In healing the rift between top-down and bottom-up, a consensus on value systems must drive the process of ‘city-visioning’ and directly inform the balance between livelihood (jobs) and liveability (everything that makes a city great to live in).
David Prichard and Neil Deely have worked with Dick Gleeson since the late 90s, when David was in charge of the masterplan for Ballymun in Dublin as a director of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard.
Dick Gleeson, Dublin City Planner