Tuesday, 14 April 2009


An easy “NO!” to avoid progress

You might have heard it like a broken record from planners: “It should follow traditional design…!” or “... this is not what our tradition is!”

It is worthwhile to think about this making use of the term “tradition”.

Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary on “Tradition”:

a belief, principle or way of acting which people in a particular society or group have continued to follow for a long time, or all of these in a particular society or group

…same on traditional:

following or belonging to the customs or ways of behaving that have continued in a group of people or society for a long time without changing

Misused this is the formula to avoid change, hinder progress and declare any debate as unwanted. Every generation (e.g. of planners, architects, builders) has developed its own understanding of tradition which is affected by – you knew it: tradition.

This makes it a vicious circle; the moment behaviors and habits need to be altered or adjusted, only; the process is retarding, a least; very often it is frustrating and it can become very dangerous when it hinders necessary progress.

Planning regulations are all based on traditions of how we live and how we build; tradition in general terms analyzed over a longer time span does include the ability to learn – but this time the learning process might take too long.

Even more so as the process of implementing the lessons into the traditions of seven billion people on this globe will be a global and fierce task.

May be a musical will do the trick:

Carpe diem!


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