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    Published on 16 Nov 2011 8:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Comprehensive Planning
    2. Planning Practice

    By Perry Norton, FAICP

    In connection with the PBS TV series "Power of Myth" Joseph Campbell wrote, "The rise and fall of civilizations can be seen to have been largely a function of the integrity and cogency of their supporting canons of myth...when the mythology of a culture no longer works, there follows a sense of both disassociation and a quest for new meaning."

    In his notes of introduction to his powerful play "The Kentucky Cycle", Robert Schenkkan wrote, "The Myth of the Frontier is a fascinating construct, an extremely seductive and ultimately very dangerous myth, composed of two lesser myths. The first of these is the Myth of Abundance, which says, 'These resources are so vast that they will never end, You cannot possibly use them up.' The other half of the Myth of the Frontier might be called the Myth of Escape. It says, 'Only today matters, The past? Who cares? If you don't like where you are, literally or metaphorically, well, pick up stakes and move. Change your address, change your name, change your history.'."

    Continuing the figure of such speech, I would suggest that there is yet another myth, one that has touched, and continues to touch, seminal thinking about land use planning. One that has, alas, created a wall between planners and society in general. I would call it the Myth of Community. ...
    by Published on 15 Nov 2011 6:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Planning Practice
    Article Preview

    There's patron saints for all the people planners deal with every day; architects, lawyers, politicians, civil engineers, builders, and real estate agents. There's even patron saints for candle makers, taxi drivers, clowns, truss makers, stenographers, pastry chefs, soap boilers, and French airline crews. However, there's no patron saint of urban planners. It's not fair. We're the city builders, the place makers, the ones who bring order out of a chaotic built environment, yet there's nobody up there looking out for us. A developer can light a candle and call out to any or all of six patrons — Barbara Blaise, Louis IX, Our Lady of Loreto, Thomas the Apostle, and Vincent Ferrer — for aid in getting a property rezoned. There's no patron a planner can turn for help to convince the powers that be the request doesn't conform to the comprehensive plan, and should be denied. Sure, there's always Saint Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes, but he's already overworked, with those thousands of classified ads he has to read every day. ...
    Published on 10 Nov 2011 6:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Planning Practice

    By John Cruz

    The Bill of Rights of the New Hampshire Constitution, Article X, reads:

    [Art.] 10. [Right of Revolution.] Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.

    They’re not alone. The idea goes back to China’s Zhou Dynasty in 1122BC, and now lives in the founding documents of numerous states across America. With the right to revolt against your government comes the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which gives us the right to free speech, worship, and assembly. People need a place to demonstrate to their elected officials that they are unhappy with their decisions. Given the rising and apparent (as well as sad) rise of “Free Speech Zones“, as planners this becomes more and more critical of a consideration: where should we put public parks and other open spaces? ...
    by Published on 08 Nov 2011 6:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Development and Real Estate
    2. Education
    3. Environment
    4. Planning Practice
    5. Practitioners and People
    6. Transportation
    7. Urban Design
    Article Preview

    TED, an acronym for "Technology, Entertainment and Design", is a series of conferences formed to spread "ideas worth spreading". TED's mission statement is:

    "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."

    TED conferences include a number of TED Talks by influential presenters on a variety of subjects. The popularity of TED spread when TED Talks were made available online, and a growing number of TEDx events were organized in cities throughout the world. Until recently, the talks focused on technology, multimedia, science and design. With awareness of issues related to the built environment coming to the forefront in recent years, it was inevitable that urban planning and urbanism would become the subject of many TED Talks. Here's 12 planning-related Talks as an introduction to what TED offers. Unfortunately, they aren't eligible for AICP CE credits. ...
    Published on 01 Nov 2011 11:00 AM
    Categories:
    1. Planning Practice

    You're probably familiar with infographics, colorful and often whimsical illustrations that presents complex concepts and statistical data in a clear visual manner. Get your scroll wheel finger ready and fire up the plotter for this fascinating, information-packed, and wonderfully long infographic from Postscapes that illustrates the "anatomy of a smart city". ...
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