Monday, October 14, 2013

Blog 11: Planning Acupuncture

 In lecture 1 we discussed the dollarization of lifestyles in Papua New Guinea. This is the phenomenon of creating industries that shift a proportion of the population from subsistence lifestyles to ones dependent upon paid employment. The benefits can be earning enough money to pay for school fees and provide for health care; the downside can be not earning enough to compensate for not being able to grow your own food, and the increased exposure to diseases such as AIDS. From what you have learned through this course, what approach would you take towards ensuring the benefits and minimizing the risks of dollarizing lifestyles? (You don’t need to explain how you would solve any problems; the objective is to describe the approach you would take).


  1. To ensure that the benefits of dollarising lifestyles are realised, and risks avoided, a sensitive approach needs to be taken when transitioning economies. From what I have learnt in this course, I would advocate for the style of approach that Global Studio takes: working with, and learning from communities, so that participatory planning frameworks can be developed which contribute to social and economic development, and environmental sustainability.

    This approach focuses on information specific to communities with open dialogues between key actors. This would ensure that subsistence communities would become aware of implications of having their lifestyle dollarised. In this way, issues could be identified about potentially negative consequences of transitioning economies including issues of health, economy and ecology, and as a result, such consequences could be avoided through appropriate and unique planning solutions.


    Sebastian Clarke 1551226

  2. To minimise the effects of dollarization lifestyle I would take the approach of working with the community to develop solutions in which the benefits of subsistence lifestyles can be retained whilst participating in a dollarized economy. This approach also enables the community to recognise they hold the power and ability to develop appropriate and high quality solutions to their problems. By empowering the community they not only become more involved in processes but develop problem solving skills and develop other skills which benefit the area. Through this approach and consultation, the community can become fully aware of the effects of paid employment to their current lifestyles.

    Hannah Miln

  3. A careful approach needs to be taken when undertaking the dollarization of lifestyles. Avoiding the downsides of dollarization lifestyles requires a deep understanding of the initial lifestyles of the population and what they value from their own lifestyles, and of course whether they actually want to have dollarized lifestyles. This will require extensive community consultation and local level decision making. Local level citizen participation allows decision makers to respond to the diversity of lifestyles. Additionally, the approach to be taken needs to recognise that dollarizing lifestyles requires the consideration of more than just cash. Decision making needs to focus on the actual benefits of dollarization, such as access to healthcare, rather than the assumption that if communities have money they are happy.

  4. As dollarised lifestyles interact with local and global markets, they are subject to market forces and the prosperity and suffering of such individuals stem from how profitable their activities are. To maximise the benefits they can reap from the market, individuals need to invest in themselves and their communities. Prudent long-term investment can be in high quality education (especially for women and children), diversifying economic activities (increasing the products and services provided) and providing quality health care (including vaccinations, nutrition education and family planning services). However, individuals and communities often need external assistance to fund and benefit from such investments, assistance from NGOs, select businesses or governments. Hardly radical, I simply advocate dollarised communities to begin interacting with the wider markets and world; staying on the fringe will only leave them vulnerable.

    Tom Chi

  5. Through this course, I have learnt that every country is too unique to have the same strategy applied on each of them, something that works in one country is highly likely to not work at all in another country (e.g. a policy that may be effective in America’s culture may not work in China). Therefore, in order to avoid or minimize the risks of dollarizing lifestyles, a very careful and thoroughly researched approach should be taken.
    There are a few important points to this approach. Firstly, planned strategies should be carefully researched to see if there are conflicts with the social state or culture of the area they are intended to be implemented. Secondly, government and associated policy makers should work with the community to understand their state of living and what they truly need in decision making processes, instead of planning something which looks like it may solve a problem, but the problem just rises in another form in the future. Furthermore, the government should also communicate with the community so that people understand the benefits and risks of a dollarized lifestyle and develop skills that will let them benefit and avoid the risks of a dollarized lifestyle.

    Melissa Chen

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  7. In order to minimizing the risk of dollarizing lifestyles, the approach I would like to suggest is that dollarizing lifestyles can be integrated into the political system and local community level. The most benefited sector of dollarization process has been the financial system which depression the facing risk of payment and increased economic growth. However, this lifestyle is not just considered about the dollar economy, also requires provide acknowledge of private participation. Integrate the public as stakeholders with coordination the private consultation in order to provide fixed system and free market, and ultimately deepen democracy for greater economic cooperation. This requires decision makers focusing on local level through healthcare, education, social services. Furthermore, as the opposition to dollarizing lifestyle will continue widespread, speed up of the trade integration with wider economic markets has benefit effects for dollarized lifestyle and policy stability.

    Fei Hua

  8. From what I have learned through the course, to ensuring the benefits and minimising the risks of dollarizing lifestyles there is the need to recognise and understand contexts of each community. To achieve this, consultation and involvement of community and local people are necessary. This approach will enables people to participate in decision making, and realise what they would benefit or risk from dollarizing lifestyles. Consultation and research of the community also enables to understand what the community values, their problems and what they actually need.

    Thidarat Samart

  9. From what I have learned in this paper, the approach I would take towards ensuring the benefits and minimizing the risks of dollarizing lifestyles would be an approach that is considerate, careful and sensitive with regard to the people and their needs. It is important to be considering the people, and be sensitive with the transition they face, as a shift from subsistent living to a dollarized lifestyle is significantly different. Consulting with the people will be a big part of the approach. Stressing the importance for full involvement and participation will be key to ensuring the benefits and to minimize the risks, allowing for plans and policies to be made that actually will help people, rather than assuming an action will fix their problems. With a greater involvement and participation from the people, decision-making can be altered to help the people who are in need.
    Finally, educating those who are transitioning from what they are used to (subsistence living) to a dollarized lifestyle will be an important factor, guiding them on what works well, and how to be successful in a dollarized living situation.

    Jared Bartlett 5695331

  10. When designing approaches to deal with the different urban problems occurring all over the world, dollarizing lifestyles included, this design process can become overwhelming. This is due to the complex and multi-scale nature of these issues. One approach to combat these over powering issues is via urban acupuncture. The concept entails using small-scale but socially catalytic interventions to transform the larger urban and social fabric. Its success is reliant on extensive dialogue between designers and the community. The micro- scale interventions targeted by planning acupuncture particularly appeal to cash-strapped communities, as they can deliver focused intervention on specific points and thus initiate positive flow on effects for the greater society.

    Tsvetina Arabadzhieva

  11. I have learnt that practices which work well in one place may not be successful elsewhere. If dollarizing lifestyles is successful in country A, we shouldn’t assume that it will be safe to implement in country B. Therefore, a suitable approach to take towards dollarizing lifestyles must involve understanding the context of the place – what is the culture, and what do people value? How does their history influence the present time? The approach should be precautionary, taking into account constraints (political, environmental, cultural…) before making assumptions.

    Kahlia Jemmett (2313174)

  12. As population continues to increase, there is a significant need for economic growth in order to support this increase. As a result, there is a need to promote economic growth and a key way to do so, is to transform subsistent life styles to dollarized lifestyles. However this approach to shift the subsistent lifestyle must be attempt with care to ensure that the benefits out weights the risks of dollarization. Hence, it is fundamental to ponder the need for extensive consultation and encourage participation to truly understand the different needs, so that the meaning of benefits and risks are clarified to make certain of what is positive outcome for the people we are dealing with. As we need to acknowledge that people are diverse and therefore there is no single approach suitable for all.

    Additionally, advantageous education could be provided for these people from the subsistent life styles to learn to adapt and benefit themselves from the dollarized world.

    Miao Miao Zhen
    ID: 5690514

  13. The dollarizing of lifestyles is important and effectively inevitable. In doing so however, consideration needs to be carefully given to the changes that may come from it. From what I have learnt in this paper, it seems that citizen participation is the extremely important in the democratic planning process. The environmental consequences of a dollarized lifestyle should also be considered as non-dollarized societies are dependent upon on the environment. A dual planning approach should be taken to incorporate both dollarizing lifestyles aspects while maintaining the significant benefits of non-dollarized lifestyles. This approach will seek to achieve mutual benefits.

    Alvin Jung
    ID: 2976592

  14. The advantages of dollarizing lifestyles make it an attractive option to many subsistent communities, however these benefits do not come without risk and the potential to impact negatively on people’s lifestyles. Shifting into a dollarized lifestyle may have been successful in some areas around the world, but the circumstances and situations of that country may not be applicable to another part of the world.
    Looking at how different countries respond to urban sustainability issues gives countries a knowledge base of solutions that they can evaluate and choose to implement or adapt such schemes. An adaptive approach should be considered during this phase of change towards dollarized lifestyles. All parties understanding that examples from other countries may not be as successful in their country, identifying what it working well in ensuring beneficial outcomes but not overlooking the risks; being willing at any stage of the process to adapt and respond to any negative impacts

    Jacinta Naicker

  15. George Winship 5578661October 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    A community transitioning from subsistence to an economy-reliant society requires a number of conditions to minimise the risks of dollarizing lifestyles. These conditions are as follows:
    - Opportunities for public participation in decision making and actions
    - Involvement of external actors needs to be focused on helping communities adapt, and understanding their aims and objectives
    - External actors must not enforce a 'one-size-fits-all' approach
    - Effective communication methods need to be facilitated, particularly between scientists and community members
    - Investment and planning needs to have a long term focus to ensure the stability of the community in future

    The End.

  16. Transitioning to an economy that places value on the dollarization of lifestyles needs to be planned before, during and after its implementation.
    I would take steps to ensure that people who rely on a subsistence economy understand how a cash economy operates and the potential threat may come upon their way of life. There would have to be discussion between people who rely on a subsistence economy and those who intend to benefit from a cash economy.
    Planners need to understand a one size fits all approach is inappropriate, and implementation needs to run parallel to the systems that are already in place to help preserve the existing way of life.
    The focus should be on the long term outcomes of the dollarization of lifestyles and a subsistence economy, rather than short term financial gains.

    Thomas Morrison 5697521

  17. To ensure that the benefits of a dollarization lifestyle transition is maximised and risk are minimise. I recommend a research approach. This approach will look into how other countries around the globe make their transitions and what policies are implemented to minimise the negative impacts that dollarization brings. Which system and ways of management are used to enhance the benefits. This approach will borrow successful models from other countries to implement it locally. With regards to whether can these regulations from diverse countries with various cultural and historical background be enforced. And what adjustments can be made to these rules so that can be applied upon local society without resistance.

    William XU (2975020)

  18. Changing from a subsistence economy to a dollarization lifestyle can have many adverse effects. While there are the benefits of education and healthcare, exposure to globalization pressures can result in a number of negative effects. For this reason it must be ensured that the shift from subsistence to dollarization is appropriately managed. Every country is unique and therefore the approach to be taken will change in each situation. The assets of the particular community or country must be identified as a base. From there, a bottom up approach must be taken, working on the ground to see what people really want and need. Work must be done with, rather than for communities, to ensure the negative impacts of a dollarization lifestyle are kept to a minimum.

    Grace Wilson


  19. Before any type of dollarization can occur a couple of questions really need to be asked like;
    1. What are we trying to achieve here?
    2. Who are we achieving this for?
    If people are to become part of an economic based economy they must be able to do so on their terms without paying the horrendous costs that they pay now. The alienation from their tribal lands and families cannot be a price that one has to pay. The degradation of eco-systems too cannot be the price to pay or the depletion of natural resources for an overseas corporation.
    The approach that I would take would be firstly create a local economy that works for the people, full employment, education, the ability to celebrate their cultural diversity within the work place and communities and sound, transparent, inclusive and democratic governance.
    Then when that is able to be achieved examining what external corporate firms might fit into the environment, the people, their culture and with their resources. With these firms create partnerships where the people are able to be actively and meaningfully part of operations. Those firms that do not want to work in a manner that is empowering and works towards actively benefiting the people should not be allowed to establish themselves in the country.
    The dollarization of any lifestyles needs to be done slowly over time so it can include all of the people. The people of the land and their benefits must always be at the forefront of any activity rather than some faceless offshore entity. Most importantly of all there must be progression for the people so they are able to achieve themselves, rather than just assisting big business to get ahead at their expense. So to me to minimize the risks associated with lifestyle dollarization is to ensure that it is about the people of the land first, their environment and their natural resources and their ability to make wise choices for their future betterment. Everything else is a distant second.

    Leonie Mullions
    ID: 1613765