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:
Thanks for defending the broader concept of Rails w Trails. Why do you not sign your name to the articles?
mainelyplanning mainelyplanning Said:

Your welcome! I believe where possible, rails and trails are important pieces of infrastructure if done correctly. They may require a fence or some additional ROW, but they double the mobility options along a corridor.

I was thinking about your question before you actually asked and one of the things I was always concerned about was finding a job. Planning can be contentious and this is an avenue for me to share ideas, think outside the box, and suggest things that make sense, yet are politically unpalatable. I don’t worry as much about it since I have found employment, but I still have aspirations of bringing things into the fold that might draw criticism. My name is Scott Workman and I approve this message.