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From theory to action: Time to shake off the inertia? March 10, 2012

I admit I’m an armchair change maker. I perceive the problems I see around me, and because I have some training in the field of urban planning and because I can string an argument together, I find myself talking and writing about a whole bunch of urban problems. Of late, many readers have posted comments that ask me to consider taking actual steps towards addressing these.

To be honest, much as I like the idea of activism and much as I believe that community mobilization is the key to many of the positive changes we want to see, I do not really see myself in the shows of the activist. I have had a little experience working directly with communities on planning and housing projects, and while I enjoyed the process, I was not called upon to innovate or mobilize people in any way. As a designer, researcher or consultant, its easy to gather impressions and then carry your ideas and impressions outside of the community to put together your report. Essentially, I am comfortable behind the scenes, some sort of pseudo academic. Is this wrong? Or is it a legitimate role to play as well?

This blog has had no larger purpose, except to force myself to write everyday. But is there a logical next step. If so, what is it? Professional writer/blogger, academic research, a book? O is it some sort of method to seed community initiatives, consulting to communities and neighborhoods?

I do not know, and as of now, I am going to continue to focus on the writing. But I can feel the cogs turning inside my head. Let’s see what comes of it!

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