Why are communities so ill-designed? Credentialing vs. Educating

Why don’t we design and build places like this anymore? Listen up, to anyone interested in contributing to the field of urban planning and development! Focus on getting an education, not credentials!

In the legendary Jane Jacobs’ latest book, Dark Age Ahead, she describes how the Great Depression inspired a system to ensure employment: credentialing. Become a doctor with an MD, an architect with an AIA, or a manager with an MBA. It’s that simple.

According to Jacobs, the instititions that grant these credentials don’t have credentials themselves, for as the times change, they haven’t changed with it. Thus, we have doctors who are credentialed to prescribe drugs rather than educated to understand nutrition, managers credentialed to run spreadsheets rather than educated to lead bold new companies like JetBlue and eBay, and finally, planners, engineers and architects credentialed to accommodate the auto-oriented industrial age rather than educated to provide compelling, people-oriented experiences in our modern, experience economy industrial age.

Expect more from your credential-oriented university.