What is the cause for the degradation of environment?
Capitalism, corruption, consuming society? - OVERPOPULATION!
Please, save the Planet - kill yourself...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Responsibility in Spatial Planning

Currently I have a part-time job in a small "institute" for spatial planing (I highly doubt that I will keep working for them any longer) as an ecologist. It has several challenges such as unappreciated and low paid labour; low overall qualification in GIS (despite a great deal of work related to GIS); top management do not give a fuck about quality of project, workers, etc. and only cares about deadlines; master plan creation != scientific approach; most of the are relatively cheep nowadays because all the big territories have their master plans.
    Actually, the last point is a problem only in minds of top management and other workers - I have a different opinion. These small projects (for the smallest municipalities) are a great advantage to demonstrate an ultimate modern scientific, sustainable and open-minded approach to spatial planing and to develop skills of the young workers (more than 90% of employees are younger than 30). But the general approach for to this relatively cheap contracts is to do somewhat and somehow, they think that small municipalities (opposite to the entire regions) are not cool, that everything is the same there, they are not worthy efforts... And here the responsibility starts.

    A lot of people are not aware about sustainable development. And I believe that most of people in spatial planing industry in Russia do not know what these words mean. The key words to understand sustainable development are "responsibility" (to nature and people) and "quality of life": we are responsible for everything that happening around. We are  responsible for quality of our lives, quality of lives of people around, quality of lives of people we are working for (consumers of goods and services, provided by our labour)... And here responsibility starts.

    A role of spatial planing in sustainability must be recognised - that's where sustainable decisions should be implemented in the first place, because master plans are an official document and a basis for development of the region or municipality.

    Pride is the most serious of the 7 deadly sins and the source for others. I'm an atheist but I can't reject the wisdom. Isn't pride the root of the opinion that small municipalities are not worthy efforts in spatial planning? Or the maybe it is stupidity?

    Ok. Which of the following proud statements is more probable?
    1. We were able to create a solid, comprehensive land use plan for the entire region.
    2. We were able to create a solid, comprehensive land use plan for the local municipality.
    Of course it is #2! Larger area guarantees only greater amount of work and a greater butthurt - not the greater achievements. Only spatial planing for the local municipalities (which seems significant on the global scale) is able to make a difference. Just think about it: creation of the spatial planing documentation is very expensive for small municipalities, so it will be too difficult (because it is expensive) for them to make changes in this documentation. Documentation on spatial planing is very important, because will determine development of this communities for the next couple of decades so if there is no good strategy proposed, then municipalities will suffer. On the other hand no good strategy will be proposed in the situation when the job is treated as unworthy. That means that shitty documentation will guarantee shitty life for small municipalities for the next 20 years.

    It is another illustration of the principle that in the world driven by money reach will multiply their wealth and poor will grow poorer.
    1. Do not treat your clients as unworthy just because they do not have enough money to feed your greed, or the project is much smaller than your egotism. 
    2. If you are unable to find a challenge in lesser project, it means you are not skilled or qualified enough for the job. 
    3. Be responsible, especially if well-being of thousands of people depends on you.

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