Popular planning

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The Greater London Popular Planning process

One of the successful tools of the Greater London Council was to introduce a ‘popular planning’ process in which ‘ordinary people’ were encouraged to be actively involved in identifying unmet needs and unemployed resources. This was based on the conviction that people are the real experts of what happens in their neighbourhoods. One of the most successful tools in this context is ‘Planning for Real’ which was developed by Tony Gibson from the Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation. It is centred around a three-dimensional model of a neighbourhood which includes streets, schools, pubs department stores, etc. It allows everybody to make their comments and proposals in a verbal and non-verbal way directly onto the model. The tool attracts people who would never go and talk at a public meeting and it mobilises their ability and commitment to contribute to practical solutions in their neighbourhood. Many other tools and techniques have been developed since then - like alternative workers plans, community future workshops, communal fora, neighbourhood action packs, etc.