The Trouble with City Planning Kristina Ford

Publication date:
01 Oct 2010
256 pages: 210 x 140 x 25mm
8 black-&-white illustrations

After the vast destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans faces a rare chance to rebuild, with an unprecedented opportunity to plan what gets built. As the city's director of planning from 1992 until 2000, Kristina Ford is uniquely placed to use these opportunities as a springboard for an eye-opening discussion of the intransigent problems and promising possibilities facing city planners across the nation and beyond. In "The Trouble with City Planning", Ford argues that almost no part of our usual understanding of the phrase 'city planning' is accurate: not our conception of the plan itself, nor our sense of what city planners do or who plans are made for or how planners determine what citizens want. Most important, our conventional understanding does not tell us how a plan affects what gets built in any city in America. Ford advances several planning innovations that, if adopted, could be crucial for restoring New Orleans, but also transformative wherever citizens are troubled by the results of their city's plan. This keenly intelligent book is destined to become a classic for planners and citizens alike.

Kristina Ford is one of America's best known urban planners and writers on planning. In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, Ford's thoughtful assessments - heard on CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio - became the first public voice of reason to mediate the great storm's human and civic consequences. Her highly regarded study, Planning Small Town America, is used as a text in many graduate urban planning programmes.

"Kristina Ford has written an interesting and illuminating book on the realities of city planning, and one that speaks to more than just that profession. In The Trouble with City Planning, she uses the experience of rebuilding New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina as a case study on why city planners are in trouble, and what they can do about it."—Globe and Mail

“……a detailed and insightful analysis of what went wrong and a blueprint for how city planning can be improved in all cities…..Her idealism is refreshing but not unrealistic and this, together with her frankness about the challenges of city planning, help to make this a valuable study for all cities.”—PD Smith, The Guardian