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Development based on the pursuit of progress to achieve high and clear goals is a meaningful process in any sphere of life. When applied to a society where people communicate and interact with one another constantly, planning changes to improve living standards and expand personal capabilities can lead to effective outcomes. In turn, the absence of any steps towards development is a regression and is fraught with stagnation in views and actions.
Based on the analysis of the post presented by the Editorial Board, the formation and current achievements of the city of Chicago as one of the American megalopolises and important cultural centers will be considered. Experts analyze the position of Daniel Burnham, the famous architect, regarding the development of the city and its historic formation. According to the town planner, no one should make little plans, and it is essential to strive for high goals all the time to amaze descendants (Editorial Board). Such an opinion may seem presumptuous and too bold; nevertheless, Chicago needs an effective transformative plan since many problems exist at the moment, and an intervention to improve the city’s well-being is relevant.
Reasons for Introducing a Transformative Plan
Over the past years of the development of Chicago, the local authorities have managed to do enough to make the city an important cultural, economic, and political state object. However, according to Editorial Board, “Chicago suffers plenty of problems that demand more than incremental solutions,” and additional attention should be paid to moving forward rather than preserving achievements. Despite significant prospects and opportunities, not enough valuable decisions regarding infrastructure improvement are made, which slows down the natural process of civilization and restrains innovations.
As Lazzeretti and Oliva note, cities are not only the centers of economic life but also the places of attracting people with different cultural backgrounds, and space for innovations is one of the driving forces (1856). In addition to the natural changes that occur, for instance, the provision of social services and control over the execution of federal orders, additional interventions aimed at improving the appearance of the city may be relevant. Therefore, based on Burnham’s ideas, it is crucial to provide an effective plan for the reorganization of thinking in terms of engaging resources and establishing a progressive and convenient city with high and clean goals.
Evidence of the Need for Changes
Moving towards Chicago’s progress is an urgent task for the authorities because current development results cannot be viewed in terms of compliance with the innovation program. Based on Burnham’s thoughts that were practical rather than poetic, the importance of development is due to responsibility to descendants and the natural need to grow in the conditions of available opportunities (Editorial Board).
The mark in the history that the citizens of the city can leave is a springboard to innovations, and new projects are the logical outcome of the developmental work. As Mendizabal et al. argue, the degree of adaptability to transformations characterizes any city as a dynamic structure, and the lack of progress, on the contrary, indicates instability and problems (412). Those government programs that are implemented in most major cities of the country are used in Chicago. However, according to Editorial Board, city leaders need to mobilize not only readily available resources but also additional reserves to prove to citizens “that the only acceptable direction to move is forward.” At the moment, weak attempts are made, and the need for changes is warranted.
In the conditions of life at the present stage, many changes are required to ensure sustainable and successful movement towards improving urban infrastructure. As Filion et al. remark, the organization of social institutions does not always allow for proper “urban development trajectories,” and much effort is needed to ensure total control over transformations (217). Obviously, in an environment where changes are acceptable and desirable, there should be a solid background for interventions aimed at achieving progressive and relevant solutions. Accordingly, as a city with a highly developed economy, Chicago may afford to implement necessary transformative plans.
Under the influence of modern trends, it is not always easy to achieve quick and effective changes. Lazzeretti and Oliva argue that economic transformation is inextricably linked with cultural and creative resources, which may be the result of a certain ideology (1860). Today, in the USA, the infrastructure of many large cities is the pride of the authorities and the result of many years of investments.
However, when the reorganization is influenced by such trends, it is hard enough to find the necessary sources to enable all planned innovations to be realized. According to Editorial Board, people rarely think about the future and seek to improve the present, thereby slowing progress. However, changes based on big plans imply more global changes when both current issues are touched upon and upcoming tasks are also taken into account. Accordingly, in the context of the policy of innovations and movement towards progress, it is essential to engage as many creative people with proper cultural priorities as possible. This measure will provide an opportunity to implement the development program effectively and will allow achieving high-performance work.
Chicago’s transformational efforts and hard work on innovations can be made more difficult by the overly complex and lengthy process of changes. When global innovations are planned, engaging all possible resources may require the significant reorganization of not only the city’s infrastructure but also individual social institutions. According to Filion et al., the diversity of human associations, for instance, “enterprises, governments and their agencies, as well as nonbusiness and non-governmental common-purpose organizations” should be engaged (204). As a result, orientational transformational work is hampered by the necessity to control the activities of all these stakeholders and to allocate resources by constantly changing trends and needs.
In addition, significant challenges may arise while reasoning the evidence of the relevance of particular transformative plan implementation. Despite Burnham’s view of high and clear goals regarding the city’s development policy, Chicago’s authorities may not approve of the set of measures that may be required for a complex reorganizational policy. Experts from Editorial Board note that at the moment, large-scale construction campaigns are planned in the city, for instance, the expansion of Steppenwolf Theater. Therefore, the total transformative plan may be costly both from the point of view of financial investments and about the complexity of the whole process.
Contrary to the complexity and costs of innovations, transformations are necessary for Chicago to develop sustainably and successfully. The effective cooperation of individual social institutions may help strengthen unity and achieve high goals. According to Linnenluecke et al., stakeholders working in one direction can “co-create future plans and generate value, with an external focus of planning” (3223).
This, in turn, is necessary to not only improve the condition of the city and its infrastructure but also achieve a successful future for the sake of descendants. This goal justifies the challenges that may arise during the implementation of a transformative plan and is the result of deliberate and coordinated actions.
An opportunity to understand current shortcomings and mobilize resources to achieve high goals is determined by the desire for improvements. Despite some steps in this direction, Chicago still needs innovations as a natural step towards progress. Activities aimed at adapting to the constant search for new possibilities should be part of civilian thinking so that all planned changes could have a positive outcome. As a result of the assessment made by the Editorial Board, the dreams of tomorrow can become a reality if enough efforts are put in. Therefore, moving towards transformations should be part of the city’s development program.
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Despite the potential challenges and costs of implementing a transformative plan for the development of Chicago and its infrastructure, the need for changes is relevant to achieve high goals. Burnham’s ideas regarding the value of innovations in terms of their importance for posterity may be applied to involve all the necessary resources and stakeholders. The movement in this direction may be complicated by the time-consuming process of transition to the new model of the organization of life in the city. However, based on the findings in the reviewed academic sources, it can be concluded that such measures are accessible due to the cumulative participation of citizens in solving the current issues.
Editorial Board. “A Chicago Tale: Why We’re Happy to Erase the Asterisk from Daniel Burnham’s ‘Make No Little Plans*’.” Chicago Tribune. 2019. Web.
Filion, Pierre, et al. “Planners’ Perspectives on Obstacles to Sustainable Urban Development: Implications for Transformative Planning Strategies.” Planning Practice and Research, vol. 30, no. 2, 2015, pp. 202-221.
Lazzeretti, Luciana, and Stefania Oliva. “Rethinking City Transformation: Florence from Art City to Creative Fashion City.” European Planning Studies, vol. 26, no. 9, 2018, pp. 1856-1873.
Linnenluecke, Martina K., et al. “A Review of Collaborative Planning Approaches for Transformative Change Towards a Sustainable Future.” Journal of Cleaner Production, vol. 142, 2017, pp. 3212-3224.
Mendizabal, Maddalen, et al. “Stimulating Urban Transition and Transformation to Achieve Sustainable and Resilient Cities.” Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 94, 2018, pp. 410-418.