The Bottom-Up Revolution Is…Using Communicative Planning

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Shelley Denison is a Strong Towns advocate and city planner in Sandy, Oregon, a town that’s going through some challenges that should be very familiar to you: concerns about traffic and congestion, questions about what it means to invite more housing into your city, and more.

As a city planner, Denison navigates these issues with a thoughtful and open mind. She’s been invested in clarifying, for instance, what allowing missing middle housing would actually mean for her community (more housing options, and not developers bulldozing your neighborhood, as some residents fear). 

Denison sees city planning as fundamentally about relationship with residents, and she’s dedicated to what she calls “communicative planning,” that genuinely takes into account the needs and concerns of those who live in her town. In this interview on The Bottom-Up Revolution podcast, hosted by Rachel Quednau, you’ll hear Denison’s nuanced take on the YIMBY/NIMBY debate, her experience hosting a housing-related podcast, and her dedication to fighting cynicism in the planning field.

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