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Citizens and Planning

January 19, 1986

Regarding to Sam Hall Kaplan's rather futile support of grass-roots groups for city planning:

Planning, for a growing area such as Los Angeles, is a process governed by economics and performed by developers, investors, and nameless politicians. The economics arise from what the populace does--not from what the populace says that it wants.

Therefore, grass-root groups of today, as those that worked with the Los Angeles Planning Department in the mid-70s, are not going to change the planning resulting from growth motivated by populace-behavior and economic gain.

The populace that says what it wants has little or no power. The populace that changes what it does, has complete power. Such a populace does not exist in the nature we observe.

Urban design can be governed by a media independent of developers and architects. If Johnny Carson can make David Letterman a star, Sam Hall Kaplan can make the Munselle/Brown Partnership at least as famous as Frank Lloyd Wright.

KEN JEWETT

Playa del Rey

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