Planning in the Face of Conflict:

The Surprising Possibilities of Facilitative Leadership

Bikers and hikers. Sex workers and social conservatives. Agencies and activists. The people involved in planning for a site — or a community — can be like the Hatfields and McCoys. And the process brings them together face to face and toe to toe.

How can planners take conflicted communities from passionate demands to practical solutions? Facilitative leadership offers helpful answers. Cornell University's John Forester has produced a dozen profiles of planning practitioners known for their successes in helping communities turn contentious conflicts into practical consensus. This remarkable book tells their stories in their own words.

Lisa Beutler shows the way she got California's off-highway vehicle users and recreationists on the same track. Michael Hughes shares the search for common ground for HIV prevention in Colorado. Shirley Solomon recalls how lessons learned in South Africa helped her build trust between Native Americans and county officials in the Pacific Northwest.

Forester and his panel of experts offer no simplistic formulas but a great deal of practical guidance. From mind mapping to the Hawaiian concept of Ho' oponopono (making things right), readers will come away with a wealth of ideas they can use to move from the heat of confrontation to the light of creative solutions in their communities.

Meet the Author

John ForesterJohn Forester is professor in the department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University and director of Graduate Studies. His research into the micro-politics of the planning process, ethics, and political deliberation assesses the ways that planners shape participatory processes and manage public disputes in diverse settings. He previously served as a mediator for the Community Dispute Resolution Center of Tompkins County, New York. His previous titles include Dealing with Differences: Dramas of Mediating Public Disputes (Oxford Press 2009), and The Deliberative Practitioners: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes (MIT Press  1999). He earned his doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley.