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An approach to planning for small communities in British Columbia Johal, Darshan Singh

Abstract

Growth and development of a community may be hampered, not only by lack of planning, but also by a wrong approach to planning. Hence, in order to ensure proper growth and development of a community, it is necessary to examine the underlying structure of the community as well as the proper approach to its planning. An analysis of the current approach to planning shows that a long-range comprehensive master plan is thought to be highly desirable, if not essential, before any planning can be done in a community. The myth of the master plan has been accepted not only by most of the experts and legislators concerned with planning, but also by the people in general. Although the validity of this myth has never been clearly demonstrated, no one has seriously challenged its utility in relation to planning for small communities. An analysis of the political, economic and sociological structure of small communities in British Columbia shows that the master plan approach is neither necessary nor desirable for planning in these communities. This discovery should serve as a warning to those who confound "planning" with "plan making" and as a hope for those who are under the erroneous impression that before a community can do any planning, it must first have a master plan. The alternative approach to planning for small communities in British Columbia is described by the author as "The Community Development Approach". This approach recognizes planning as a continuous process; it places greater emphasis on community organization, community participation and community action. In short, it replaces the traditional motto of planners: "Survey, Analysis and Plan" by "Organization, Planning and Action.”

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