"... the wisdom of crowds is often exceptionally good. And collective intelligence is especially valuable when it comes to subjects like town and city planning and managing development, subjects where important information is not concentrated in the hands of a few people, but is diffused among myriad members of the community. If the job is ... to produce a far-sighted plan for balancing environmental, aesthetic, economic, and social concerns, you’re far more likely to end up with a good answer if you solicit and aggregate the judgments of those who live in the community, rather than rely on a more traditional, top-down planning process. ... Is there a catch to the wisdom of crowds? ... it’s essential to make sure that the crowd is a diverse one, made up of people with different perspectives and different problem-solving tools."
-- James Surowiecki, from "Speaking of Place: The Wisdom of Communities," posted on the Orton Family Foundation web site (you can also access a video clip of Surowiecki's talk at last October's CommunityMatters Conference).
"For planning to be meaningful, citizens must be involved in the process. Planners, regardless of their personal talents and capabilities, working in isolation and apart from the clients of planning, will not be able to craft plans communities will embrace."
-- Michael Chandler, from "The 21st Century Plan" (Planning Commissioners Journal Issue #31)
Both from the Planning Quote of the Day website