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Conducting a charette

Posted by ESC on January 27, 2007

Anyone heard of this? I'm not sure what it means.

"(Planning guru Ed) Blakely will conduct 'charettes', or public planning sessions, with neighborhoods, but won't have meetings behind closed doors, he says. And as he always does when he arrives in a new city, he will "buy a bike for a few hundred bucks and ride around, talking to the cab drivers, garbage men, and even the prostitutes," he says, to get an unvarnished look around." From
"Big Easy makes way for new recovery czar" by Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0125/p02s02-ussc.html

The French word, "charrette" means "cart" and is often used to describe the final, intense work effort expended by art and architecture students to meet a project deadline. This use of the term is said to originate from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris during the 19th century, where proctors circulated a cart, or "charrette", to collect final drawings while students frantically put finishing touches on their work.
http://www.charretteinstitute.org/charrette.html Accessed January 27, 2007.