Friday, October 30, 2009

This is for You

My philosophy about the planning of human settlements is that it's something important and, dare I say it, interesting. It affects all of us even if we don't think about it.

That said, writing or discussions about planning don't always come off as important, or interesting, or even understandable. Planners are too often boring, and/or incomprehensible. We use way too much jargon, and way to many acronyms, that help to kill participation by a wider audience (CEQA, AB 32, SCAG, COG, density, smart growth, EIR, sustainability, GHG, etc.). We might as well be speaking Latin.

When I write, I try to ask myself, "if this were the first thing about planning somebody ever read, would they understand it and want to read more"?

We've got to be down to Earth. Making cities that do a better job of protecting the environment and the working poor won't happen because a bunch of yuppies wants it to happen. If it happens, it will happen because of a broad public dialogue that gets people to question their assumptions about housing and transportation and to demand something better than automobile-dependent suburbia as consumers and as citizens.

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