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
Urbanophile
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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Great article in the BDN the other day regarding some things I have already talked about here, regarding the Population and GDP of Maine, where those things are occurring and where the money is flowing. They hint that it isn’t flowing into the places where people are moving too, or where economic activity is occurring.

Is the State Giving Money to ‘Well-Off’ Suburbs at the Expense of Urban Areas?

The big take-away is the cities are back in a big way. Even lowly Waterville and Augusta are growing again, however state funding formulas for schools, roads and other investments aren’t flowing into these areas where services, jobs and people in need tend to be. This makes a huge case for increasing the value of our urban places through guided infrastructure investment and promoting projects that pay back big dividends to solidify the ground on which these places stand. Give the article a read.

  1. mainelyplanning posted this