Reflections on David Godschalk’s Contributions to Planning as Consensus Building

TitleReflections on David Godschalk’s Contributions to Planning as Consensus Building
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSusskind, L
JournalJournal of the American Planning Association
Pagination21 - 22
Date PublishedFeb-01-2019

David Godschalk and I first worked together in the 1970s on a book titled Paternalism, Conflict, and Coproduction (Susskind & Elliot, 1983 Susskind, L., & Elliot, M. (1983). Paternalism, conflict, and coproduction: Learning from citizen action and citizen participation in Europe. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
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) in which David shared the results of his inquiries into neighborhood planning in The Netherlands. The purpose of the book was to bring together planners, urban designers, and public participation specialists in the United States with their international counterparts to see what they could learn from the city planning and development experiences of other countries. David was, by that time, totally committed to the idea that public participation in local decision making could ensure that development and conservation efforts embodied the contending interests of a full range of stakeholders. But providing opportunities for groups who were usually ignored to speak out was not enough. In our discussions, David was concerned that newly emergent ideas about advocacy planning addressed only part of the problem. Merely giving more people and groups a voice would not guarantee that any of their interests would be realized. Conflict would be generated (and that was good), but the cacophony of voices needed to give way to coproduction. The only way to ensure that the full range of interests could be implemented was to generate a consensus on how development should proceed.

Short TitleJournal of the American Planning Association