By Zelda Bronstein

On Jan. 7, I went to an evening panel discussion at the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association entitled “What Urban Planning Can Learn from Tech and Vice Versa.” It was one of the most disconcerting forums I have ever attended.

Perhaps that was only to be expected, since what drew me there was an equally disconcerting experience: last December I read an article on The New York Times Opinionator blog called “What Tech Hasn’t Learned from Urban Planning.” The author was the moderator of Tuesday’s panel, Allison Arieff, SPUR’s editor and “content strategist.”

Arieff’s point of departure in the Times piece was a seeming contradiction:

The tech sector is, increasingly, embracing the language of urban planning—town hall, public square, civic hackathon, community engagement. So why are tech companies such bad urbanists? (More after the jump)