9-line access access management access point accessibility ADA air quality alignment amenity antiplanner atlanta BART BID bike Blogs boston branded bus branded buses brookings brt bus Bus Rapid Transit BYU capacity car pool cars central link Centrality certification commuter rail condo congestion congestion pricing connections consistency coverage crossings CRT cycling DART dedicated dedicated right of way density denver depreciation developers development economics efficiency Envision Utah equity eugene exclusive extension FAQ favela Federal Funding Flex Bus florida free fare zone freeways Frequent Transit Network frontrunner frontunner Gallivan garden cities gas prices geotagging goat Google grade-separation Granary District growth headway heavy rail hedonic High Speed Rail history housing housing affordability housing bubble housing prices HOV income infill innovative intersections intensity ITS junk science LA land use LEED legacy city light rail linear park location LRT lyft M/ART malls mapping maps metrics metro MetroRail missoula mixed mixed traffic mixed-traffic mobile mode choice Mode Share multi-family MXD neighborhood networks news NIMBY office online op-ed open letter Operations parking parking meters peak travel pedestrian environment phasing Photomorphing planning Portland property property values Provo proximity quality_transit rail railvolution rant rapid rapid transit RDA real estate redevelopment reliability research retail Ridership ridesharing right of way roadway network ROW salt lake city san diego schedule schedule span seattle separated shuttle silver line single family SLC SLC transit master plan slums smartphone snow sprawl standing stop spacing streetcar streetscape streetscaping subdivision subsidy Sugarhouse Sugarhouse Streetcar Tacoma taxi technology tenure termini time-separation TOD townhouse traffic signal tram transit transit networks transit oriented development Transit Planning transponder transportation travel time TRAX trip planning trolley tunnel uber university of utah urban design urban economics urban land UTA UTA 2 Go Trip Planner utah Utah County Utah Transit Authority vmt walking distance web welfare transit Westside Connector WFRC wheelchairs zoning

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Connectedness Critique

I still love this post: The Connectedness Critique.

Largely because of this line: "This lumbering iteration is, I suspect, is the highest degree of intelligence that you can ever expect from a democratic process."

Elected officials have to come up with solutions to some pretty crazy problems. But problems tend to be raised and solved on an ad-hoc basis. In a way, the process of planning is the systemization of problem solving--an ongoing process of raising the issues, coming up with solutions and figuring out how to implement them.

This suggests that one of the most valuable parts of the planning process may be what is typically regarded as the most problematic: Whenever you start planning for anything, all sorts of related issues are raised. Which tend to confuse and muddle the process--the planning process becomes an open forum for airing grievances. In a weird way, the public planning process may be the most democratic aspect in modern America, although education runs a close second. (Worth noting that both are spatially based, with specific geographic areas of effect.)

I'm fine with lumbering, fine with disjointed incrementalism. But the above suggests that we should stop making plans that are 'finished', should acknowledge that the process of planning is ongoing, that issues were raised that need to be resolved in future plans.

This suggests a move away from all-at-once 'comprehensive planning', and towards a series of subject specific 'master' plans. I'm fine with lumbering, fine with disjointed incrementalism. As Mr. Walker suggests in his post above, it may be the best we can hope for.