Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Provocative Thoughts on Sustainability Planning

Gar Alperovitz and colleagues have posted a provocative piece on “Anchoring Wealth to Sustain Cities and Population Growth” which bears reading by thoughtful transportation planners.  They suggest a rethinking of neighborhood-based economic development strategies that fit with a climate change—constrained future.
The authors discuss some of the transportation ramifications of new urbanist strategies (especially more transit and high-speed rail) but there is plainly more thinking that we need to do at our end.  As I have said before, one thing we are not as good at as we should be, as a transportation community, is neighborhood and community transportation planning.
Although many of the concepts that Alperovitz and company outline are far removed from the normal sphere of transportation planners, they are worth your consideration.  Why?  Although conventional thinking in recent years has been that climate change denial is an immutable and overwhelming force, my feeling is that this situation may flip much sooner and much more rapidly than one might think.  We may be only a few more natural disasters (God willing, not too horrible) away from the public demanding that transportation planners come up with solutions! 

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