Sunday, March 14, 2010

Useful readings and small "t" theory

As you look around you while in the UK and at CAT, you'll see things that are different from the way we do things in the US.

Many of these are somewhat accidental or cultural, such as a predominance of pubs that are primarily for families, including kids and dogs, not purely for young people, drunks (drunken young people) and bikers.

Others required theory and policy, such as the well-conserved countryside, which is the product of the ten thousand years of habitation, the British conservation aesthetic, and some very strict laws -- so strict that Americans probably wouldn't ever enact them.

Examining these kinds of differences carefully is a kind of study that if taken to a high degree would be called a "case comparison" in the policy world.

One good choice for your formal response (see the syllabus) would be to do an essay version of the case comparison study, taking one of the things that you noticed that was different and finding out if you can, using research, why it is different here from in the US, and explaining that to your audience with critical insight and comments, and if a web submission, pictures or video.

From our shortened list of discussion items, I set up a list of links to accessible readings. Explore these and begin to think about your formal response. You can of course pick another topic than these, but these are illustrative of the way that culture, theory and policy link to ordinary life, and also how to start your case comparison study.

Some likes

Relatively unspoiled countryside: Planning regulations and countryside preservation
1947 Town and Country Planning Act

Interactive environmental education displays
Practical solutions to 21st century problems
What do we do?
(from the CAT webpage, links below to more information)

Wattle fences and blackthorn hedges

Sheep, lambs, and managing pasture and forage through grazing, not mechanization

Pedestrianism and planning for pedestrianism

Public transportation

Some dislikes:

Green roofs
(why not use a higher tech roof approach, and not run the risks of water penteration and collapse)

Rhododendron sp.
as an invasive (native to PA)

That's enough for now.

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