The Charrette (A Cynical Opinion)
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A charrette is a process that typically allows a group of city residents to participate in some kinds of land use decisions. If one of the decision alternatives possible is a use consistent with smart growth or New Urbanist principles, then that use is typically chosen according to some critics of the charrette procedure. In many charrette procedings, the participants may be presented with a series of pairs of photographs and asked which one of each pair, one depicting conventional suburban development and the other depicting smart growth or New Urbanist development, is the more appropriate or attractive. Some will say cynically that only ugly suburban developments will be shown to force the decision to be arrived at in a predetermined direction. See "Fidel Gives Us Candy: Of Charrettes, Visioning, and Contrivance" by Wendell Cox.

Kathleen Parker has written a column about cynicism in today's world. See "The Importance of Not Being Earnest," Washington Post Writers Group, January 16, 2009.

It is interesting that a Google search of the "visual preference survey" "smart growth" combination brings up 800 references.
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