Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Of Mice and Men

The best laid plans - in this case, no plans are laid at all. Peter Gleick poses excellent musings on the realities of population versus diminishing resources, and the inability of local governments to foresee the impacts of their policies and decisions. Megaregion planning is something that is emerging in some of the more dense clusters, but the limits to growth are not being examined. America 2050 tries to project into the future for some of the larger trends.

Data on infrastructure and planning is on our State government website, along with an admission that decisions are being made in a disjointed fashion, and asks for a consolidated planning organization. Which apparently SCAG is gunning for, but with a completely wrong old-boy agenda. The presented example of a good plan is the SANDAG diagram. It's strictly logistical and growth-oriented.

This site lays the groundwork for land use and transportation to guide all planning, but does not include any consideration of natural capital or social capital, which are crucial elements of the entire picture. So it's very one-dimensional and isn't supportable, and fosters destructive bubbles like we've seen with banking and real estate in the last year. What's happening is that this view only sees government and commerce, with the underground economy and its impacts in the shadows. So of course its solutions are incomplete and ultimately don't work.

A regenerative approach is necessary, as I've laid out before, and will involve the processes of a values-driven culture and a recognition of the larger aspects of the impact of human habitation.