In Scott Campbell’s “Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities?: Urban Planning and the Contradiction of Sustainable Development,” the Planner’s triangle of hell is discussed. This triangle is impossible to satisfy and adds to the list of things that planners cannot actually achieve. Each point contradicts the other and it’s just up to the planner to decide what’s best? Where should the focus be? How can the community voice input? When social equity is made the focus over environment and economy resources are not used efficiently. When the economy is the main goal then the environment may not be best taken care of and social will not benefit equality. If the environment is the focus then the economy will most likely not be used efficiently and people well not receive and even share. These dilemmas are standard across the board and force planners to decide what is most important in their community. Do they work to improve their city through grow and economic power? Should they work to include all people to the fullest? To create an equitable society? Should they take care of the environment and the land that their city occupies to ensure its health for the future? Is it possible to create an equal city? Could the economy and environment be destroyed in its pursuit? What role should planners have in creating this equity? Is it our job to be involving ourselves in altering society? How can planners educate the community to allow them to be responsible citizens to make informed choices? Perhaps that is the role of planners, to ensure their population understand the choices that they make on a daily basis and the influences that those choices result in such as alternative transportation or recycling.
There is a gap for me right now between how much planners can do and how much planners should do. I think that planners can affect a lot. Maybe not all across a city but definitely in a few focus areas. What ethical checks are in place for planners to be guided by? If the community is too large to be involved or uneducated or disassociated then planners can alter without oversight. I don’t think this is true of large decisions such as comprehensive plans or zoning but on social campaigns or programmatic changes can be made. Those may even be the more important decisions.