paper is an analysis on an ethical dilemma case by Carol Barrett, “Planners
Wonders If Community Understands Development’s Potential Impact” (Barrett, 2002,
pp.40). The case will be analyzed using
the best practical moral reasoning to identify the best course of action to
solve the ethical dilemma. The ethical
dilemma presented in this case is to decide whether the African- American
planner on the city’s small planning staff should be transparent and provide the
minority community with information on the potential impacts from the new
development, or to be loyal to the organization and resume with the
redevelopment proposal (Barrett, 2002).
in this case, it is evident that the African- American planner is being charged
with the dilemma of transparency and honesty to the community or remaining
loyal to the organization. Barrett identified three sections of the AICP code
that are relevant, for I believe all the codes cited are necessary because they
enforce the need for planners to include marginalized groups in the planning
process. The language in these codes
promote civic engagement and require planners to be transparent to the
community. Moreover, these codes assure planners will be responsibility and
provide valid information to the public. The codes are as follows: “A3. A
planner must strive to provide full, clear, and accurate information on
planning issues to citizens and government decision-makers. A4. A planner must
strive to give citizens the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the
development of plans and programs. Participation should be broad enough to
include people who lack formal organization or influence. D6. A planner must
strive to contribute time and effort to groups lacking in adequate planning
resources and to voluntary professional activities” (Barrett, 2002, pp.41).
addition, another strategy that can be utilized to solve the dilemma are the recommendations
suggested from (Brenman and Sanchez’s, 2012).
The following recommendations are noted to avoid ethical dilemmas: maintain
confidentiality (pg. 56), act with legitimacy (pg. 56), be culturally competent
(pg.59), speak and use the language of the people (pg.60), and be willing to
negotiate and compromise (pg. 61) (Brenman and Sanchez’s, 2012). These recommendations promote social equity
with the assurance of transparency from the governmental actors. It is necessary to planners to act with
confidentiality when serving the public interest, for there are state and
federal laws that enforce municipalities to be transparent and that public
records should always be disclosed.
to Barrett, she argues that alternative 3 would be the best course of action.
Based on the extent of the dilemma, I agree with her selected course of action
because it suggested that the planner should talk to the director and try to
find out another mechanism that would be appropriate to use to encourage more
citizen participation in the planning process.
This alternative promotes inclusivity and compromise rather than buy-in.
Also, this alternative promotes opportunities for more direction on citizen engagement,
for the director will be open to new ideas. It reduces the action of
rationality and empowerment and promotes collaboration. Consequently, these
strategies can sometimes hinder the marginalized groups from participating because
the planner have indicated that they know what is best for the community. Thus,
it is evident that the initial action was a parent to client response.
Therefore, alternative 3 promotes community building and inclusivity.
of the information that would heave been beneficial to help me clarify the
issue proposed would be to first understand what are the potential impacts.
Second, I would like to know what are the positive impacts of the development
if there are some potential impacts. Third, I would like to know if there are
any health impacts associated with the new development. Fourth, are there any
alternatives for the displacement of the community during the redevelopment
phase. Fifth, what are the economic impacts. My last question is to understand
what phase of the planning process were the community given the information on
the new development.
closing, although Barrett suggested three other alternatives, I preferred
alternative 3 because it promoted a shift from rationality planning to
inclusion planning. The other
alternatives do not recommend planners to make sound decisions and ensure fairness
and equity. The principle of social
equity, cultural diversity, and democracy is not promoted in the other
alternatives. The suggested alternatives
note that planners don’t have act as advocates for the marginalized groups. Moreover,
the other options demonstrate what planners must do rather than what they
should be doing. It gives planners the option to remain stagnant and not act on
the issue at hand. Controversially, this is the core in many planning cases,
for planners and not held fully accountable for the exclusion of the