Urban planning is an oxymoron. This email from a local City of Ottawa planner proves it. In response to a plea for help and direction from a developer for a vacant site for which she is unsure what its highest and best use is, the planner wrote–
“Good morning, Sally*. Our role at the City is to provide our opinion on a proposal for a property–not to tell a property owner what they should do. I have copied a portion of the zoning by-law to provide you with the details of the permitted uses in the zone for your site. Good luck, …”
So the idea that planners are simply quoting from zoning codes, have no imagination, play zero role in shaping urban areas, are in fact nothing more than enforcement offices in disguise, are all true.
It’s a disgrace. Sorry, but it’s true.
* name changed