Changing Environmental Consciousness Through Urban Planning

[This post is part of the Metropol Blog Series.]

How do you get 50,000 people gathering in a remote desert to Leave No Trace of their having been there… without a garbage can in sight?  How do you encourage a bike, pedestrian and public transportation culture in a country addicted to the automobile?  How do you change the collective consciousness — and behavior — of a city’s population?

Jaime Lerner re-invented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. He participated in the 2007 TED Conference in Monterey, CA, where he gave an inspired presentation about revolutionizing bus transit, awakening green consciousness in a populace accustomed to litter and blight, and changing the way city planners and bureaucrats worldwide conceive what’s possible within the metropolitan landscape. And he throws in a little song for good measure.

What are your thoughts about affecting social change through urban planning?

About the author: Will Chase

Will Chase first attended Burning Man 2001. He was Burning Man's Web Team Project Manager and Webmaster from 2004-2009, and the Operations Manager and member of the Art Council for the ARTery (Burning Man's art department headquarters in Black Rock City) from 2003-2008. In 2009, he transitioned into the Communications Department, where his responsibilities include global communication strategy, authoring the Jackrabbit Speaks Newsletter, content management for the Burning Man website, coordination of Burning Man's social networking efforts, and acting as editor for the Burning Blog. Tales of his sordid adventures can be found on his website.

One thought on “Changing Environmental Consciousness Through Urban Planning

  • As a student about to begin a Masters in Urban Planning I’m very interested in hearing more on this subject. I participated in my virgin burn last year and believe I am hooked for life (though some how it looks as school got in the way this year = the need for me to become a better planner).

    The organization blew me away, as did the populace’s general subscription to the leave no trace/maximize a given environment philosophy. I have also been moved by blog posted after this one regarding mapping techniques tested in BRC and applied in underdeveloped locations across the world.

    Of course, there are endless lessons for participants, and outsiders, developed and tested within the “walls” of the BRC. I look forward to continuing to learn, personally and professionally, from the endless wealth of knowledge and innovation that defines the burning community.

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