CHAPTER 6

Grounded Visionaries

Dream in a pragmatic way.

Aldous Huxley

THE PLANNERS, ARCHITECTS, AND BUILDERS WHO COLLECTIVELY translate ideas into concrete reality have long played crucial roles in how any large urban project turns out. Sometimes their interdependence plays out collaboratively, other times contentiously. Innovative projects, like the exquisite Beijing Water Cube built for the 2008 Olympics, nearly always involve effective collaborations across disciplines.1 Not all successful urban projects are innovative. Some projects rely on well-established procedures. The more routine and familiar the approach, the more easily professional responsibilities can be cleanly allocated, reducing the potential for conflict and misunderstanding. ...

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