Today I sat in on a Plain Green 10 Conference planning meeting. That was sort of fun in a "I'm outside my comfort zone" sort of way. On the opening day Steve Clark of Bike/Walk Twin Cities will speak. I kinda sorta had a little to do this this. April's a long way away but his plan is to ride here to present. His plan also is to participate some in the April 30 South Dakota Bicycle Coalition Traffic Skills 101 course...which I believe is mentioned in the article I referenced in the first paragraph.
Finally I came across and fully enjoyed these words today:
"Nobody is home in the cities of the future. In a decade, they saw real property defy reality in real time in these insta-neighborhoods that sprouted in what had been some of the world’s most productive farmland. In places like Lathrop, Manteca and Tracy, population nearly doubled in 10 years, and home prices tripled.and...
After inhaling all this real estate helium, some developers and their apologists in urban planning circles hailed the boom as the new America at the far exurban fringe. Every citizen a homeowner! Half-acre lots for all! No credit, no problem!
Others saw it as the residential embodiment of the Edward Abbey line that 'growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.'"
"In the meantime, during these low, ragged years, a few lessons about urban planning can be picked from the stucco pile.Full article...
One is that, at least here in California, the outlying cities themselves encouraged the boom, spurred by the state’s broken tax system. Hemmed in by property tax limitations, cities were compelled to increase revenue by the easiest route: expanding urban boundaries. They let developers plow up walnut groves and vineyards and places that were supposed to be strawberry fields forever to pay for services demanded by new school parents and park users.
Second, look at the cities with stable and recovering home markets. On this coast, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and San Diego come to mind. All of these cities have fairly strict development codes, trying to hem in their excess sprawl.
Developers, many of them, hate these restrictions. They said the coastal cities would eventually price the middle class out, and start to empty.
It hasn’t happened. Just the opposite. The developers’ favorite role models, the laissez faire free-for-alls — Las Vegas, the Phoenix metro area, South Florida, this valley — are the most troubled, the suburban slums."