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Thread: Infusing "commons thinking" to change public participation?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    Infusing "commons thinking" to change public participation?

    OK - just finished reading through "An Infusion of Commons Thinking Can Transform the Future of Our Communities" - written by presdient of the Minneapolis Planning Commission, which is exploring ways to make the planning process more co-creative and therefore more commons-based.

    If you have some time, it is an informative read, just beginning the discussion about the use of new approaches of engaging communities in Minneapolis in the discussion of their Plan for Sustainable Growth. He talks about their initial efforts that mostly use wikis.

    I personally agree with him that we need to start developing a "commons-based approach" to planning.

    Philosophical questions:
    1) Do you think that the term itself will cause too much of a political backlash ("Ahhhhhhh! Socialists!") against the idea?

    2) Have you seen examples where a community has worked toward a more "commons-based approach" to their planning? If so, what do you think were the critical components that allowed the change to happen?

    Technology questions:
    1) Have you seen examples of government planning orgs using other technology to promote engagement? If so, do you know if anyone is going the extra mile in describing how their improved engagement startegy might have led to an improved outcome? (as opposed to Google analytics re: wiki visits, or input)

    2) Who is using technology in interesting ways that involve "live people" (by this I'm suggesting people interacting face to face - as opposed to virtual worlds)? I've read a lot about The Orton Family Foundation's role in helping to create CommunityViz - as well as their current grantmaking support for "Heart & Soul Community Planning". Has anyone had experience with either the tools or these communities?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian RPfresh's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MCasey View post
    1) Do you think that the term itself will cause too much of a political backlash ("Ahhhhhhh! Socialists!") against the idea?
    Before even reading it I'll postulate that when it comes to planning their communities people will want as much input as possible, so no. But then again I come from a city where a bike trail meeting had standing room only.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by MCasey View post
    ...

    I personally agree with him that we need to start developing a "commons-based approach" to planning.

    Philosophical questions:
    1) Do you think that the term itself will cause too much of a political backlash ("Ahhhhhhh! Socialists!") against the idea?

    2) Have you seen examples where a community has worked toward a more "commons-based approach" to their planning? If so, what do you think were the critical components that allowed the change to happen?
    Sacramento Blueprint. No one called little names and made it "socialist". But there was a perceived threat and this is important psychologically.

    Quote Originally posted by MCasey View post
    ...
    Technology questions:
    1) Have you seen examples of government planning orgs using other technology to promote engagement? If so, do you know if anyone is going the extra mile in describing how their improved engagement startegy might have led to an improved outcome? (as opposed to Google analytics re: wiki visits, or input)
    Sacto Blueprint used GIS-based technology for scenario analysis. This also answers your 2).

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    In order to answer this, you need to look first at the kind of public input you are getting, and second as to why you are getting that kind of input.

    I think that a greater effort needs to be made in educating the public in the kinds of decisions that are made in the planning process. In some cases, you have NIMBYism occur because you have a group of people who want to defend to death their "right" to a 5,000 square foot house in the suburbs, an SUV, and 2.5 kids. Due to the the financial market blowing up in the United States, this really isn't an option any more due to mortgage subsidies hemorrhaging money, transportation costs skyrocketing, oil prices increasing, etc. I doubt that the majority of suburbanites know the background behind FHA loans, euclidean zoning, and how gas taxes don't adequately cover infrastructure costs.

    In other cases however, you have NIMBYism and BANANAism due to organizations like the Tea Pary, Cato Institute, what have you, that will go around with their ears full of wax and scream "socialism" until the end of days. The only way to combat them are through studies, debate, and public engagement/education. You can't change their minds, but if you show the outlandishness of their claims, you can discredit them.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I love your attitude. If you educate them, surely they will see the errors of their ways!

    But...have you ever considered that perhaps you are the one who needs to be educated?


    Quote Originally posted by bsteckler View post
    The only way to combat them are through studies, debate, and public engagement/education. You can't change their minds, but if you show the outlandishness of their claims, you can discredit them.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    Dude,

    Most people don't give crap about planning. I once worked on a consultant on redeveloping a large suburban town center in a major masterplanned community with approximately 80,000 residents.

    The entire masterplanning process was dominated, and I mean completely and utterly dominated, by the same 30 or so people.

    This is despite that the county goverment and planning officials went to extreme lengths to try to engage as many residents of the town. Flyers, email lists, notices in libraries and newspapers, even door to door recruitment.

    The thing is, most people simply want to be left alone. It's only when their property rights are threatened that you get people out in force - and it's usually in opposition to the planners. And given the tendency of only a small minority to dominate a planning process I'd be very afraid of a "commons" thinking. What works well in academia and sounds good in a textbook rarely translates to success in the real world.

    Quote Originally posted by MCasey View post
    OK - just finished reading through "An Infusion of Commons Thinking Can Transform the Future of Our Communities" - written by presdient of the Minneapolis Planning Commission, which is exploring ways to make the planning process more co-creative and therefore more commons-based.

    If you have some time, it is an informative read, just beginning the discussion about the use of new approaches of engaging communities in Minneapolis in the discussion of their Plan for Sustainable Growth. He talks about their initial efforts that mostly use wikis.

    I personally agree with him that we need to start developing a "commons-based approach" to planning.

    Philosophical questions:
    1) Do you think that the term itself will cause too much of a political backlash ("Ahhhhhhh! Socialists!") against the idea?

    2) Have you seen examples where a community has worked toward a more "commons-based approach" to their planning? If so, what do you think were the critical components that allowed the change to happen?

    Technology questions:
    1) Have you seen examples of government planning orgs using other technology to promote engagement? If so, do you know if anyone is going the extra mile in describing how their improved engagement startegy might have led to an improved outcome? (as opposed to Google analytics re: wiki visits, or input)

    2) Who is using technology in interesting ways that involve "live people" (by this I'm suggesting people interacting face to face - as opposed to virtual worlds)? I've read a lot about The Orton Family Foundation's role in helping to create CommunityViz - as well as their current grantmaking support for "Heart & Soul Community Planning". Has anyone had experience with either the tools or these communities?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    But...have you ever considered that perhaps you are the one who needs to be educated?
    Yes, indeed. They are speaking about a small group of narrow ideologues. This phenomenon is well known.

    But back to the topic in the subject heading. "Re-educating" a society takes decades from the starting point. We are decades away from a starting point.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Around here, even using a word like 'sustainability' is not smart politically. Many elected officials and their constituents (mostly Tea Party) look at it as being a massive conspiracy by the United Nations to eliminate individual property rights and to set the framework for a world government. Any public discussion involving sustainability brings out lots of people but for all the wrong reasons. Despite pointing out all the merits behind the idea, they still can't get over the UN conspiracy idea. They're even going as far as trying to get rid of building codes departments since they view them as enforcing a UN agenda.

    So my opinion on public participation is that it is definitely a good thing up to the point when it only draws out fringe view points. Like Tea Party people are very active politically and they'll be able to push through their ideology just because no one is opposing them. The end result when they're so involved in the process is probably not representative of what the community as a whole wants. That of course creates a bit of a conundrum since not enough people are participating in the first place to accurately gauge what the community wants.

    I honestly have no idea how to go about trying promote public participation that doesn't disproportionally attract Tea Party groups. They're at every public meeting and vehemently oppose whatever planning topic is being discussed. In many cases, they deliberately try to stall or derail the entire process so no one else can be heard.
    Last edited by Blide; 17 May 2011 at 12:41 PM.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    I was once involved in a project that was proposing higher-density environmentally-sustainable development next to an existing relatively low-density neighbourhood. There was a very vocal group of about 20 people within the neighbourhood who came out in opposition to the project that dominated every public meeting in fact in the beginning they were the only group coming out. For our final public meeting they wanted to make their point by getting the whole community out but it backfired on them. With 100 or so people crammed into the room the 20 previously vocal people found they were overwhelmed by a majority well-educated and concerned citizens who strongly supported and wanted this environmentally-sustainable development in their community. It surprised even the municipal planners who had assumed that the vocal minority represented the views of the whole community.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    [QUOTE=Blide;590500]Around here, even using a word like 'sustainability' is not smart politically. Many elected officials and their constituents (mostly Tea Party) look at it as being a massive conspiracy
    QUOTE]

    Use "land stewardship" rather than sustainability. When the reactionaries start to howl, a few Biblical quotes about being good stewards of the land might slow them down.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    My own experience has been the same - a loud (and often relatively small) group of opponents seem to hijack the public discussion. After a while, it seems like "public discussion" is simply a bad idea.

    I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing that all of the experiences described above probably occurred during some form of "public meeting" that typically asks people to "respond" to a plan, idea, proposed program - and RESPOND we do!

    "Commons thinking" suggests that there is a need for an ongoing discussion about overall goals for the community - rather than specific responses to individual projects. I've been impressed with some of the examples of how communities have established processes that really seek to have a discussion among citizens to create what you might call "guiding principles" for development. Unfortuantely, I have also noticed that those efforts are often targeted at creating some sort of large, long-term, comprehensive, master plan - and then after years of work engaging citizens, the citizen engagement process is abandoned once the written document is done.

    I suggest that we need to change the focus of our public review processes - more focus on what we want, less focus on gathering (and then attempting to answer) any potential negative findings of significant impact?

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Around here, even using a word like 'sustainability' is not smart politically. Many elected officials and their constituents (mostly Tea Party) look at it as being a massive conspiracy by the United Nations to eliminate individual property rights and to set the framework for a world government.

    Such nincompoopery is easily countered by the barely competent. I'm sorry you live in a place populated with so many nincompoops.

    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Any public discussion involving sustainability brings out lots of people but for all the wrong reasons. Despite pointing out all the merits behind the idea, they still can't get over the UN conspiracy idea. They're even going as far as trying to get rid of building codes departments since they view them as enforcing a UN agenda.
    Lunatic fringe driving the discussion?! Why?

    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    So my opinion on public participation is that it is definitely a good thing up to the point when it only draws out fringe view points. Like Tea Party people are very active politically and they'll be able to push through their ideology just because no one is opposing them. .
    They'll scuttle away soon. Don't worry.

    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I honestly have no idea how to go about trying promote public participation that doesn't disproportionally attract Tea Party groups. They're at every public meeting and vehemently oppose whatever planning topic is being discussed. In many cases, they deliberately try to stall or derail the entire process so no one else can be heard.
    And, as above, their puerile tactics can have a light shined on them. Not hard. Someone with cojones needs to step up.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    I don't disagree with anything you said. Currently it's just risky even confronting them since they have so much sway politically here. It is really not helpful when the people with the crazy beliefs actually managed to get themselves elected.

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    Cyburbian
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    Maybe what I was trying to say before didn't come off the way I wanted it to. In my opinion, the way to counter the crap that's coming out of the Tea Party is simply to say "you're stupid, and here's why" but in a less direct and nicer manner. Perhaps an editorial in a newspaper after a planning meeting would be a good way to start. Like I was saying before, I have no expectation of changing the minds of these people, but I definitely think that their ability to influence others can be severely hampered with enough solid information and actual reality.

    One thing we do need to keep in mind however is that this process could be harder as it progresses, as the Tea Party will feel increasingly threatened by the implementation of smart growth. This could potentially start to happen in the next decade when the housing and development markets sober up.

    *disclaimer: I am not a professional planner and have had no formal education as such. The ideas I propose are by no means guaranteed to work.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    I don't disagree with anything you said. Currently it's just risky even confronting them since they have so much sway politically here. It is really not helpful when the people with the crazy beliefs actually managed to get themselves elected.
    I feel for ya bruddah. Their time will come. AFAICT not long from now either.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Are you using the Tea Party as a catchall to describe anyone who disagrees with what you want from a proposed planning policy?

    I'm sorry, for while I consider myself a fairly astute follower of political trends in the last few years, I've yet to come across any major recognizable Tea Party group engaged in opposing some type of planning process. The Tea Party seems to be strictly concerned with fiscal issues - taxes, spending, budgets etc. The Tea Parties are also very disparate underneath the core umbrella, so you're displaying your own bias in writing them all off as a single cohesive "racist" entity.

    In the master planning process I described in my earlier post, the entire opposition to the redevelopment of the town center into a higher density, TOD walkable community came from people who were well to the left of the political spectrum. Both the County planning office and the developers brought in nationally recognized consultants and experts to give lectures to the community and produce studies discussing the benefits of the proposed masterplan, and they still got clobbered.
    This was in Columbia, MD, by the way, a very progressive suburban community.

    By the way, you still haven't conviced me why the "you're stupid, and here's why" applies only to this seemingly mythical tea party group and not you.

    Quote Originally posted by bsteckler View post
    Maybe what I was trying to say before didn't come off the way I wanted it to. In my opinion, the way to counter the crap that's coming out of the Tea Party is simply to say "you're stupid, and here's why" but in a less direct and nicer manner. Perhaps an editorial in a newspaper after a planning meeting would be a good way to start. Like I was saying before, I have no expectation of changing the minds of these people, but I definitely think that their ability to influence others can be severely hampered with enough solid information and actual reality.

    One thing we do need to keep in mind however is that this process could be harder as it progresses, as the Tea Party will feel increasingly threatened by the implementation of smart growth. This could potentially start to happen in the next decade when the housing and development markets sober up.

    *disclaimer: I am not a professional planner and have had no formal education as such. The ideas I propose are by no means guaranteed to work.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Whose "small group of narrow ideologues" are we talking about here?

    I've seen the Tea Party mentioned in a strange context (planning and the Tea Party?)

    But I'm also seeing several clearly liberal progressives posting on this thread. Are you sure your ideologue isn't narrow too?


    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    Yes, indeed. They are speaking about a small group of narrow ideologues. This phenomenon is well known.

    But back to the topic in the subject heading. "Re-educating" a society takes decades from the starting point. We are decades away from a starting point.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    People want to know why a certain type of construction is in their interests. And, planners, in my experience, often are relatively bad at explaining the value of T.O.D. and mixed-use development at higher intensities. The rural-to-urban transect is one of the best ways to do so because it ensures a variety of options becomes available in a neighborhood and that nature and open space are placed within walking distance of residents.

    T.O.D. and M.U. needs to be designed with sufficient intensities to do all the things this kind of development promises. And, the transit, itself, needs to be of a very high quality. Additionally, more attention needs to be paid to ensuring income diversity (through upscale units, etc.), and regional traffic must be prevented from entering and, more importantly, leaving single-family neighborhoods. There are legitimate concerns, but instituting walkability has a tremendous upside, as well, that so many people, in my experience, long to add to their neighborhoods.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    Everything you write I strongly support, but you'd be surprised by how many people oppose them.

    Some of it is simply the fear of change. And it's understandable - if something currently works for you, if you already like your neighborhood, why risk change?

    Some of the opposition (actually, a lot of it) stems from that people don't want to see their area grow more "urban." The baby boomer generation settled in the suburbs and exurbs because they were perceived to be pastoral, peaceful places away from the ills of the cities. Things like mass transit, TOD, alleys etc all scream "urban" and are an unwelcome addition. As hard as it may be for some posters on here, many if not most Americans like their car dependent, low density lifestyle.

    Quote Originally posted by Pragmatic Idealist View post
    People want to know why a certain type of construction is in their interests. And, planners, in my experience, often are relatively bad at explaining the value of T.O.D. and mixed-use development at higher intensities. The rural-to-urban transect is one of the best ways to do so because it ensures a variety of options becomes available in a neighborhood and that nature and open space are placed within walking distance of residents.

    T.O.D. and M.U. needs to be designed with sufficient intensities to do all the things this kind of development promises. And, the transit, itself, needs to be of a very high quality. Additionally, more attention needs to be paid to ensuring income diversity (through upscale units, etc.), and regional traffic must be prevented from entering and, more importantly, leaving single-family neighborhoods. There are legitimate concerns, but instituting walkability has a tremendous upside, as well, that so many people, in my experience, long to add to their neighborhoods.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    Everything you write I strongly support, but you'd be surprised by how many people oppose them.

    Some of it is simply the fear of change. And it's understandable - if something currently works for you, if you already like your neighborhood, why risk change?

    Some of the opposition (actually, a lot of it) stems from that people don't want to see their area grow more "urban." The baby boomer generation settled in the suburbs and exurbs because they were perceived to be pastoral, peaceful places away from the ills of the cities. Things like mass transit, TOD, alleys etc all scream "urban" and are an unwelcome addition. As hard as it may be for some posters on here, many if not most Americans like their car dependent, low density lifestyle.
    I totally agree. The American dream remains a detached single family home with a garage and driveway for the family cars with a yard for the kids and dog to play in, not an apartment in a midrise building with a roof deck. People may settle for less because they have to but it doesn't change the dream.

    I would also argue it is NOT simply the boomer generation that favored suburbia/exurbia. From James Fenimore Cooper's frontiersmen heroes to Horace Greeley's "Go West, young man" to Frederick Jackson Turner's "frontier" thesis as the basis of American democracy, the image of "the frontier" or "the West" as escapes from all of the "ills" of civilization (ie, cities and settled places) has been a recurring theme in the American imagination since the colonial era.

    Delores Hayden's Building Suburbia demonstrates that Americans were seeking suburban/exurban enclaves back in the early 1800s, so the impulse to "escape to the country" is really imbedded in the American psyche. The streecar suburbs that are considered such great urban neighborhoods today, in fact, were popular because of the very same impulses that built the suburbs so maligned today: the desire for Americans to own a house on its own land away from city crowds, noise, crime, pollution, etc.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Frames and Process.

    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    Whose "small group of narrow ideologues" are we talking about here?
    Why, this of course:

    Quote Originally posted by bsteckler View post
    In other cases however, you have NIMBYism and BANANAism due to organizations like the Tea Pary, Cato Institute, what have you, that will go around with their ears full of wax and scream "socialism" until the end of days. The only way to combat them are through studies, debate, and public engagement/education. You can't change their minds, but if you show the outlandishness of their claims, you can discredit them.
    ---------------------


    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    The American dream remains a detached single family home with a garage and driveway for the family cars with a yard for the kids and dog to play in, not an apartment in a midrise building with a roof deck. People may settle for less because they have to but it doesn't change the dream.
    I totally agree that is the American Dream.

    I totally DISagree with any implication that I'm not a Patriot-American if I don't care for that housing type or that dream, nor the whatever % of our population that doesn't either.

    It is true I can't stand NASCAR, but baseball, apple pie and watching video from Predator drones on the satellite in the back of my camper with a tasteless but heavily-advertised can of beer in a coozie in my hand? America, f yeah!

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    It is true I can't stand NASCAR, but baseball, apple pie and watching video from Predator drones on the satellite in the back of my camper with a tasteless but heavily-advertised can of beer in a coozie in my hand? America, f yeah!
    How is this attitude any different from the attitudes of those people who think anyone involved with planning is trying to take away their liberty or are in cahoots with some foreign cabal bent on world domination? Stereotypes work both ways.

    Moreover, as a non-planner, I remain unconvinced that high population density is particularly desirable. I especially find coupling the ideas of high populaltion density, sustainability, and food independence to border on fantasy.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    Everything you write I strongly support, but you'd be surprised by how many people oppose them.

    Some of it is simply the fear of change. And it's understandable - if something currently works for you, if you already like your neighborhood, why risk change?

    Some of the opposition (actually, a lot of it) stems from that people don't want to see their area grow more "urban." The baby boomer generation settled in the suburbs and exurbs because they were perceived to be pastoral, peaceful places away from the ills of the cities. Things like mass transit, TOD, alleys etc all scream "urban" and are an unwelcome addition. As hard as it may be for some posters on here, many if not most Americans like their car dependent, low density lifestyle.
    Objections to adding the wrong buildings and other elements to a particular "transect zone" are completely understandable. But, the goal should be to place a variety of "transect zones" in close proximity to each other in much the same way America's original cities, like Alexandria, Virginia, were, and have been, able to place very rural settings within walking distance of the more urban.

    People, like Linda_D, who are here everyday arguing for the interests of the oil and highway lobbies and who delight in the havoc of retail leakage, white/rich flight, and jobs-housing imbalances, as well as 20-mile-trips to buy groceries, like to present a false dichotomy, which is that people can either live in auto-dependent suburbs or in "dirty", "crowded", "noisy", and "polluted" cities. Transect-regulating plans, instead, create a much more human-scaled development pattern that places within walking distance the natural and rural and the urban and sub-urban.

    Detached houses are not inherently bad. They are only bad when they are the only options available and when they are placed in unwalkable neighborhoods.

    The garden-city idea in which a population of about 35,000 people comprise a single self-contained urban village that may lie within a city or metropolitan region and that is connected by good transit is a no-brainer. The irony is that the noise, the pollution, and the congestion that Linda_D likes to cite is now associated with her version of the "American dream" that she is fighting so hard to convince the planners here that people want. Cars, trucks, fossil fuels, and freeways are the "ills" contemporary America is trying to escape, but moneyed interests will fight to preserve the country's slavery to petroleum for as long as possible or until, of course, we've all been bled dry.

    People living in walkable places where people can safely use bicycles, high-quality transit, and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and where people have access to taxis and car-sharing services are in high demand. All the evidence points to that fact, so those perpetuating the myths and stoking the crazies can't stop the realization that noisy, big, heavy, unsafe, dirty, polluting, and expensive privately-owned cars that people must fight traffic driving hours each day are now a tyranny.

    People like myself are not demanding everyone live in attached housing or relinquish their cars. I live in a detached house, and I own a car. But, I want more options. And, no one is providing them because the planners are in fear of losing their jobs and the oil and highway lobbies are wielding such power over our democracy.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Pragmatic Idealist View post
    Objections to adding the wrong buildings and other elements to a particular "transect zone" are completely understandable. But, the goal should be to place a variety of "transect zones" in close proximity to each other in much the same way America's original cities, like Alexandria, Virginia, were, and have been, able to place very rural settings within walking distance of the more urban.

    People, like Linda_D, who are here everyday arguing for the interests of the oil and highway lobbies and who delight in the havoc of retail leakage, white/rich flight, and jobs-housing imbalances, as well as 20-mile-trips to buy groceries, like to present a false dichotomy, which is that people can either live in auto-dependent suburbs or in "dirty", "crowded", "noisy", and "polluted" cities. Transect-regulating plans, instead, create a much more human-scaled development pattern that places within walking distance the natural and rural and the urban and sub-urban.

    Detached houses are not inherently bad. They are only bad when they are the only options available and when they are placed in unwalkable neighborhoods.

    The garden-city idea in which a population of about 35,000 people comprise a single self-contained urban village that may lie within a city or metropolitan region and that is connected by good transit is a no-brainer. The irony is that the noise, the pollution, and the congestion that Linda_D likes to cite is now associated with her version of the "American dream" that she is fighting so hard to convince the planners here that people want. Cars, trucks, fossil fuels, and freeways are the "ills" contemporary America is trying to escape, but moneyed interests will fight to preserve the country's slavery to petroleum for as long as possible or until, of course, we've all been bled dry.

    People living in walkable places where people can safely use bicycles, high-quality transit, and Neighborhood Electric Vehicles and where people have access to taxis and car-sharing services are in high demand. All the evidence points to that fact, so those perpetuating the myths and stoking the crazies can't stop the realization that noisy, big, heavy, unsafe, dirty, polluting, and expensive privately-owned cars that people must fight traffic driving hours each day are now a tyranny.

    People like myself are not demanding everyone live in attached housing or relinquish their cars. I live in a detached house, and I own a car. But, I want more options. And, no one is providing them because the planners are in fear of losing their jobs and the oil and highway lobbies are wielding such power over our democracy.
    Since I seldom waste time arguing with ideologues, all I will say about your response to PennPlanner's post is that you need to improve your reading comprehension. Your arguments have absolutely nothing to do with what he/she posted.

    As for your comments about me, all I will say is that come back when you grow up. The world looks very black and white and you have all the answers when you're on the right side of thirty. Moreover, you sound like a shill for New Urbanist dogma.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    How is this attitude any different from the attitudes of those people who think anyone involved with planning is trying to take away their liberty or are in cahoots with some foreign cabal bent on world domination? Stereotypes work both ways.
    Apologies. Apparently I needed to turn on the [irony] tag as well as the smiley.

    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Moreover, as a non-planner, I remain unconvinced that high population density is particularly desirable. I especially find coupling the ideas of high populaltion density, sustainability, and food independence to border on fantasy.
    Your mileage varies. It is not for everybody, nor is a McSuburb what everyone wants. Humans are not homogeneous in their wants.

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