Journal of Research in Architecture & Planning
NED University of Engineering & Technology

ISSN 2519-5050 (Online), ISSN 1728-7715 (Print)
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  Rand Eppich

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"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody." (Jacobs, 1961)

Urban planning, particularly for historic cities, requires extensive community involvement, given a large number of public and private stakeholders. Unilateral top-down decisions of the early 20th century made it clear that community involvement was essential to planning. Understandably, this has been difficult with the ongoing global pandemic. Lockdowns, confinement, quarantine, limited travel, and outright bans on gatherings have made public participation in urban decisions nearly impossible – yet planning for the future has not ceased. Of course, technology is aiding communication, including multiple channels of video conferencing, instant messaging, VoIP or internet phone systems, relay chat, social media, and even email. But these means of communication are no substitute for in-person face-to- face interaction and have raised new and challenging questions – How can community involvement be accommodated?

And what other relationships or forms of communication are impacted? Successful planning also requires forming pedagogical relationships, another problem created by the pandemic. Most often, pedagogy refers to an academic setting or teacher-student relationship. But pedagogy also relates to other relationships necessary for auspicious planning, including the planner-stakeholder and professional- client associations. Frequently, architects, urban planners, and conservators must explain the problems, technical details, results of surveys, and other studies to clients, decision-makers, and stakeholders. Often people are involved in making decisions and are not well versed with urban planning, architecture, or the conservation of historic cities. Another relationship that is has been impacted by the pandemic is peer-to-peer exchange, essential for complex urban planning. This paper will explore various issues and challenges of this new mode of work inter-pandemic. First, there will be an examination of three types of pedagogical relationships: planner-stakeholders, professional-client, and between professionals or peer-to-peer. Second, three examples are included to illustrate the drawbacks and benefits of this new mode of work, specifically related to planning and conservation projects in historic cities. These examples are all drawn from projects executed by various firms during the pandemic and led by the author. Finally, the presentation discusses the disadvantages and advantages of new forms of pedagogy, including removing prejudices. Pre-pandemic, there were many objections to holding virtual meetings or relying extensively on digital communications from stakeholders, clients, and team partners. The pandemic has effectively removed this prejudice against online encounters and subsequently pedagogical relationships, thus accelerating the paradigm shift related to virtual communications


Pandemic, Urban Planning, Heritage, Conservation

Volume 31 Issue 2
ISSN (P) 1728-7715 - ISSN (E) 2519-5050
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