Fixing the Five "i's" of Planning Failure

Last week, I presented at the Canadian Institute of Planners’ annual conference what I consider to be the five main reasons for planning failure.

Since being elected to office, I have found it puzzling that, despite widespread agreement within the urban planning profession on the principles and patterns of good urban growth and a strong intent to create walkable and liveable communities, most urban growth continues to foster car dependence. Why are we - planners and elected officials - not achieving sustainable growth?

Below is a chart of the five "i's" of planning failure I presented at the conference.

La semaine dernière, j’ai fait une présentation lors de la conférence annuelle de l'Institut canadien des urbanistes où j'ai expliqué ce que je considère être les cinq principales raisons de l’échec de l'urbanisme.

Depuis que j'ai été élu conseiller, je trouve étonnant que, malgré le consensus largement répandu parmi les urbanistes professionnels sur ce qui constitue les principes et les modèles d'une bonne croissance urbaine et la création de communautés durables (favorisant la circulation à pied; où il est agréable de vivre etc.), la grande majorité de la croissance urbaine continue à favoriser la dépendance à la voiture. Pourquoi nous - les urbanistes et les élus - ne parvenons pas à réaliser la croissance durable? 

Voici un tableau récapitulatif de ma présentation:


Click below to view a PDF of the PowerPoint slides:

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Source information from your PowerPoint Slides

Hi Tobi, Thanks for sharing your excellent PowerPoint presentation. I think it does a great job in highlighting the ongoing challenges that are faced as communities expand. I was wondering if you could provide the links to the info graphics on slide 33? Thanks, K

5"i"s presentation

Well done! This is an important contribution to a necessary public discussion. Good to see recognition of the "transparency pilot" (community association members sitting in on planning pre-consultations) in the Ottawa examples. My experience has been that the community presence at discussions with developers has greatly improved the end product. It also builds trust between communities and the development industry. However, community associations need to improve their planning literacy, and small developers often must learn to look beyond the boundaries of their property. With regard to "influence", I suggest the lack of coordination between senior planner's view of good development and newer Ottawa polices on development is a bigger issue than "influence" in some film noir sense. Seeing the "end state" of planning intentions is important (debating that end state is even more important). Keep it up! SFP

Planning in Ottawa

I appreciate the issues you have raised here above. I'm often confused on how city planning decisions are arrived at. No councillor should accept donations from developers. This is an obvious conflict of interest. I question why an area has been zoned a specific type it is often ignored and planning approval is given to structures that bear no resemblance to the neighbourhood of the area they are being constructed in. I also ask why local objections to certain construction is routinely ignored. Why is it that developers are not required to build sidewalks in their developments. i assume that we want to encourage walking as a safe activity in a world full of obesity and health problems. Thank you.

Fixing the Five i's

Thank you very much for this Councillor Nussbaum. You hit the nail on the head in much of what you say. Would it be possible to add the transcript of your talk, or your speaking notes, or was the presentation videotaped? Making that available would enhance the impact of your talk and avoid uninformed comment.

Thank you

Thank you for your feedback. We'll look into this. Best, Team Tobi

Five "i"s Deck

Good deck Tobi. I think those who criticize this individual effort should acknowledge that there are problems in planning which the city should collectively address. What is missing from the deck, however, is the elephant in the planning room: the Ontario Municipal Board. Regards

5 i's

Actually, the issues are somewhat simpler. It is called subsidies. Government subsidizing parking for their employees. For example, Global Affairs Canada charges $110/month for indoor parking for their staff. This is less than a monthly bus pass. It discourages the use of public transportation or other forms of transportation and makes people less productive and more lazy. There are all kinds of people within a 5km radius of GAC that take their car to work. Perhaps now as the politician, you could raise the bar of your former employer and have them charge at least 20% more for parking than it would cost for an express bus pass.

Another Issue

Hey, Great initiative. Lots of great points. And really great to see a Councillor tackling these issues. The model doesn't capture inconsistency between public policy objectives or master plans - e.g. we want to encourage cycling connectivity and yet we allow Booth Street to happen - a brand new piece of infrastructure with no cycling lanes because that is what OC Transpo wants. It doesn't address engineers changing plans to engineer roads like we are in the 1960s and then not telling anyone (Booth Street again). Finally Interference is sometimes warranted when planning fails to take into consideration comments provided. Once again Booth street. CfSC provides comments 2 years in advance, Windmill 13 months in advance and neither are told that their advice was not adopted. Thus no choice but to interfere, lobby, write letters and get huffy. Thanks, Don