Master Plan Process
Collaborative Community Design
As a Systematic process
Work #37
When I moved to Kansas City, in 1971 [link], one of the first things I noticed that it had a long corridor that potentially tied together a number of hot spots in the city. I developed a Master Plan called the “Kansas City Strip” which would have integrated all of these areas into a several mile long pedestrian mall. My proposal was that this be developed as a World Fair site and the genesis of a new kind of urban center. The idea was published in Renascence Reports several years later but the idea never caught on [link]. It has remained, however, a corner stone concept of how Management Centers, NavCenters [link], and KnOwhere Stores, should interact with their local community [link]. In fact, it is for projects [link] like the Master Planning Process, that I was motivated to participate in their building in the first place.
It can be said that, just as the 10 Step Model process [link] is a cornerstone of any NavCenter and full application of the Taylor Methods, so is the Master Planning Process - in two key ways: First, it roots the facility in a community; second, the underlying process is central to a variety of necessary methods and means for the development of any NavCenter ValueWeb [link]. Until now, this basic process has never been fully described - except on the most superficial level - nor, has it been possible to do. The KSC Space Port [link], was the first project in which we proposed to employ the process as an intrinsic aspect from the beginning. This project, however, stalled before it left the ground.
Without mature “Taylor” facilities (environments, processes and tools), the CyberCon Tool Kit, the 10 Step Process, PatchWorks [link] and KnetWeb, it is not possible to sustain a Master Planning effort nor scale it when it is successful.
The CONCEPT of the Master Plan has been described in the following way:

The community Master Plan is housed in a resource center that is run on a neutral, non political basis - a place that can be trusted by all members of the community.

The plan is kept in a large room that has two large walls across from one another. These walls are oriented and sized so that they can hold a plan view of the area (region, city, town, etc.) in focus. The orientation is such that the plans are the same, North/South, East/West as the real estate and sized so that each lot and building can be clearly seen by it’s owner and user.

On one wall, the area is illustrated as is. On the opposite wall as it could be. The facility has archives, meeting rooms, and so on and is staffed for facilitation, mediation, communication and planning/design.

The facility offers a neutral space where individuals, community groups, corporations and governments can come together to optimize their work related to evolving the area over an extended period of time. When something is built, both the as is and the future versions of the Master Plan are revised to reflect the next best play in the game.

The idea is that, over time, individuals will trust the environment, invest their information and time, learn the larger system and start designing and building in a way that integrates short and long term, individual and community intersts - individual wealth and commonwealth.

A cybernetic system becomes the feedback process: project to whole, whole to project.

Each local community Center and plan can be linked to regional Centers and a global center so that information can flow through several levels of recursion providing context for all.

This concept has remained undeveloped and untested for nearly 30 years. There has been several reasons for this. The tools have not existed. The necessary credible social base and the network required has not existed for us to implement the process. The needs as perceived by the community have not reached the critical level to motivate people to act. The Taylor System and Method - necessary to organize and sustain the effort - has not been in place. We are now at the threshold time when all of the conditions are about to flip.
The Palo Alto KnOwhere Store [link] is located in a community approaching crisis. It is not that the Palo Alto community knows that this is so. What the community is experiencing is an every increasing level of debate about future development and a gradual breakdown in trust among the major constituencies involved. This is an unfortunate situation but an opportunity for the KnOwhere Store to introduce the Master Planning Process concept. This, of course, has to be done carefully. These are politically charged waters. Strong economic interests are involved. Design is not now seen as the major issue - it is being treated as a decision dispute: should Stanford expand it’s campus; should old houses be torn down and replaced by “monster” residences; should local owner-operated stores be forced out by high rents? Should stores in certain areas be community-serving? What was the area like 50 years ago (I remember it) and what will it be like in 50 years (is there a model [link]?). There are no answers in these either/or question sets.

July, 2005 Note:

The Palo Alto knOwhere store was closed [link] before the Master plan concept could be implimented.

Return to Index
GoTo Boulder Affordable Housing Project
GoTo Crystal Cave
GoTo Domicile One - CoHousing Alternative
GoTo Gaia Project - Who Represents Earth?
GoTo Master Planning Process
GoTo Mega Cities
GoTo Planetary Architecture - The Case
GoTo ValueWeb Architecture
GoTo Weak Signals
GoTo Worthy Problems

Matt Taylor
Palo Alto
August 20, 2000


SolutionBox voice of this document:


posted: August 20, 2000

revised: July 25, 2005
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note: this document is about 20% finished

Copyright© Matt Taylor 1976, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005

Aspects of the work shown and described are patented and patent Pending by iterations

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