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I wouldn't recommend Florida. Maybe we're outwardly progressive on a state level, but on a local level growth is still out of control and planners only get respect from citizens fed up with local governing bodies.
Stay away from Louisiana...pretty low concept of planning and when elections roll around, if you are not protected by Civil Service, chances are you'll be out of a job because the new President will appoint a friend with no qualifications
I think the question is wrong. You all have tried to apply a single label to entire states. Communities and regions within states may be pro- or anti-planning, but finding a state wide stance may ask too much. I have been in several places that I could call anti-planning. But on a good day, I can realize that it is a development proposal vs. a zoning scheme that usually gets us down. The planning board and/or governing body just can't say no to the developer. And on that good day, I can think that I did not do a good job of showing the benefits of following the land use plan or zoning scheme. A really good day is when they do listen. I do wish I could have two good days in a row.
To Dave, who lamented the state of planning in Texas, all Texas cities are not alike. Oz, I mean Austin, has elevated planning to a higher level than most places in the Lone Star State. It's not perfect, but beats the heck out of Houston (no zoning) or the Rio Grande Valley (no vision).
Do you have to be fluent in Dutch? I've read essays lamenting the difficulty of the language, even compared to English, and describing its decline, but I would feel very uncomfortable in an environment where I don't know the lingua franca.
Hope you like heat. Arizona honors planning only to the extent that it facilitates development, usually development of any type, at any cost. The legislature has actually prohibited counties from designating rural lands for conservation, open space, recreation, or agriculture without giving the owner an alternative zoning designation for one unit per acre. The up side is that salaries in the city planning departments are good and the cost of living, while its not low, is bearable. There is a lot to do if you like outdoor sports and activities and much of the state is still scenically beautiful.
I agree about Lee's view of Arizona except hate the fact that the Phoenix metro area is nearly 100 miles square with absolutely horrible public transit. There is no true "city" in Phoenix and the culture is almost as non-existent as the transit system. There are SERIOUS problems because of years of bad planning and worse politics!
There are many other things that I will not be upset about leaving here when I move out of the heat in July! I have a great house to sell you!!
As an advocate of open space and conservation land perservation - I guess I could potentially be quickly eliminated. That's where Florida (at least where I am) is prime. FL actually promotes open space conservation through various state programs such as Preservation 2000: Florida Communities Trust. Smart Growth is the latest buzzword here.
If you care about open space planning, I would suggest sticking with the humid heat there in FL for a while longer. And if you want to move West looking for situations in Colorado or other more progressive areas (even Utah is more progressive than AZ). There are things to be done in Arizona, like working with the land trusts, but things apparently have to get even worse (and worse than Phoenix is hard to achieve) before people demand some changes here. I too plan to be gone soon.
Southern New England is fairly supportive of land use planning, although not necessarily of the planners tasked with this responsibility. I once heard someone say that God didn't really rest on the seventh day; rather, he created zoning. Indeed, zoning is viewed as a God-given municipal right in this part of the country. Another advantage of southern New Engalnd is that developers and real estate interests are generally kept off of local P&Z commissions. Now if we could only teach a majority of the citizenry that are elected or appointed to P&Z commissions to learn how to read site plans and interpret zoning regulations!