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Making Great Places Happen

"Our mission really is to help make great places happen…"Mitchell Silver, President of the American Planning Association (APA)

We recently interviewed Mitchell on our site (see here) and something that really struck me was the similarities between the vision of the APA and our own site. So much so that I mentioned exactly that during a speech I did at 'Blogging the City' this month (watch it here – I start at around 3hrs 4mins in). But I had to be sure that there really was that similarity and delve into the ethos and credibility of the American Planning Association itself.

The provocative keynote speech below from Mr. Silver was the final piece of the puzzle that made certain the conclusion that the APA really is on the same page as ourselves. Mitchell displays himself as a solutions-driver (something we value extremely highly), unafraid to let go of the past and readily seeks the trends in the planning profession (and others too) to see where civilization is heading and how we can make for a better, more livable and more equitable future for city dwellers. It is often the case that we must strip down the issues that we face to their bare roots and start to feed in new ideas to create strong, fresh saplings of community and urban space. Mitchell's unapologetic speech is packed to the brim with thought-provoking moments and here is just one of those that truly resonated:

"How many people have heard of green washing? Well, I see a bigger challenge … Most people who pursue sustainability do what I call equity washing … If you're not going to put equity as an equal to those three [environment, economy, equity] you are not pursuing sustainability."

How far do you agree with this? Leave a comment below.