Mainely Planning

Why plan for an uncertain future? Our world is changing in ways that we can hardly comprehend. The planning we have been engaged in over the last 100 years, is geared to a world with abundant energy, a stable climate, and a dwindling natural resource endowment that is reliant on cheap energy for extraction. That world is quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Oil price spikes due to supply/demand and geopolitical concerns, water shortages (Google Lake Mead, Central Valley, CA or the Ogallala Aquifer for details), and soil depletion are just a few of the problems we face. As we move forward, the notion that we can continue with business as usual (BAU) is not going to sustain us.

Thinking creatively and making difficult decisions will test our abilities, push our cultural boundaries and hopefully shape a world where these uncomfortable realities can be dealt with in an equitable and meaningful manner. I write about things I see, think, and work on as I transition from being a planning student into the world of planning. I am neither a technological optimist, thinking we can invent our way out of all our problems, nor a doomer, believing in returning to a world much like pre-industrial times. I believe that our creativity combined with the lessons from the past will be instrumental tools for laying the foundation for the path forward. Some of my ideas may seem radical, others are just based on common sense and keen observations.

Links of Note

Mainely Rural
The Old Pine Tree
Strong Towns
Project For Public Spaces
Streets Blog
Cap'n Transit Rides Again
Human Transit
Pedestrian Observations
The Broken Sidewalk
Maine Architecture
The Vigorous North
Depot Redux
Reason and Rail
Car Free Maine
Walk Around Portland

Transportation for America State Fact Sheets

A Reason to Plan

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Asker Anonymous Asks:
You have a great blog and I really enjoy reading your posts. What is your idea of public life? Thanks Publicworksandpublicspacee.
mainelyplanning mainelyplanning Said:

Thanks! I wish that I had more time to dedicate to writing about the things I see and wonder about. I definitely believe in civic/community engagement and that takes up a good chunk of my time outside of my professional role in planning. I think about public space quite a bit and one of the things I am working on personally is gardening as traffic calming/placemaking and I am starting at home by creating gateways into the neighborhood that are decoratively landscaped. The grass around sign posts is being turned into perennial flower beds to soften the lines between mono-culture grass and the sharp steel sign posts and telephone poles. I know it is a little thing, but I think details are important. Besides, who doesn’t like flowers?