Where did the future go indeed

There are many things I would like to discuss about the Couclelis article, but as I will be further discussing this tomorrow, I will leave it at this question: what is planning if there is no future? It was really interesting how Couclelis outlined that planning had moved away from considering the future; it is no longer strategic but operational and managerial. But then… is it even planning? What are we doing if we’re not learning from the past, testing in the present, and moving to the future? Surely a solution that is not seeking to make something into the best it can be is not the solution planners should be aiming for, anyways. Certainly there is uncertainty to consider, and many opinions (and narratives) to take into account. But one thing that is wonderful about planning for the future is the ability to make the changes we see in today that need to be made, and then learn from them as the changes are implemented. I agree with Madskiier_JWong when they suggest that uncertainties should not be dealt with linearly, but that a complex understanding is helpful to make decisions for the future. And while some may argue that complexities add more uncertainties, I would say they also add more possibilities.

Oh, and one more thing: “Grassroots planning is admirable but it can only grow grass; someone or something needs to grow the fruit trees and the oaks of the future.” What a great line.

-sah

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