Susan S. Fainstein


On her book The Just City

Cover Interview of February 15, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“Making justice a priority would change the character of urban policy making.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“Although cities cannot flourish without investment, the welfare of their inhabitants depends on more than simply an assumption that the benefits of any investment will trickle down to everyone.  The justice criterion does not necessarily negate efficiency and effectiveness as methods of choosing among alternatives.  Rather, it requires the policy maker to ask: Efficiency or effectiveness to what end?”

On the second:

“To the extent that individuals with expertise present analyses not just of benefit/cost ratios but also of who gets the benefits and who bears the costs, they can shift the debate toward a concern with equity.  In this respect citizen participation is important.  Not because citizens always or even mostly place justice at the top of their hierarchy of values, but rather because citizens have an interest in knowing who is getting what.”