Friday, September 02, 2011

Nash: "Strategic planning has never been a strong point in this community."

Matt Nash's column appears weekly in One Southern Indiana Newspaper (or OSIN, as we've referred to it since the merger), but he also publishes it at his blog site on Friday, and linking to the piece there pleases me. I'm in no mood currently to provide OSIN with traffic via NAC-generated links, at least for so long as pop-up ads continue to plague readers of the newspaper's web site.

As for Matt's column, it's another winner.

When it comes to unchecked development and sprawl's pavement producing proclivities, we as Americans all know how to generate it, but like Matt, we assume that there can be no reversal once the ugliness becomes reality.

Perhaps it's time to ask: Why not?

It reminds me of the debate about Communism back in 1990, in the sense of knowing how it was implemented, but having no blueprint for undoing it. And yet, it was undone. How do we undo past planning disasters, even as we prevent Floyd County government from pursuing more of the very same mistakes?

My Friday Column: Smart Growth Would be Progress, by Matt Nash

After the land is developed and the grass is no longer there, it will never come back again. It will forever be a strip mall or a box store or an empty building that sits and gathers trash. Of course I am sure that drainage will no longer be a problem, since we always trust our developers to manage the extra runoff water so well.


ian said...

"...we assume that there can be no reversal once the ugliness becomes reality.
Perhaps it's time to ask: Why not?"

Good question. The Charlestown Rd. area is promising in terms of redesign potential, though any effort toward such would have to be precipitated by a drastic code overhaul concerning setbacks, parking requirements, etc...In order to legalize good urban design.

See The Sprawl Repair Manual by Galina Tachieva or Retrofitting Suburbia by Ellen Dunham-Jones.

G Coyle said...

Unfortunately, from what I can tell from the historical record, there has never been any URBAN DESIGN in New Albany. That's it's problem. The original 19th century infrastructure was privately built by developers. To this day local government conforms itself to the interests of the economic sector. See RiverView. What's good for New Albany's business "elite" is what sets the agenda for local and state government.

This is what causes such indigestion (ORBP) for same elite. How dare democracy rear it's ugly head after 200 years of unfettered resource extraction. Trees and green space aren't seen as essential elements of life, they're simply material to sell or thoughtlessly destroy. Our air and water and ground are toxic.

There is an ignorant and proud of it mind-set here as well that can't follow the simple dictates of a modern world or learn it's lessons.
Although it appears the police and firefighters are totally "tricked out"...nice SWAT arsenal on the news yesterday. The fact they waited 4 hours to storm the terrorist lady at 211 Pearl St. seemed an odd approach, or was it just all for the cameras?

Yes Josh, the town of New Albany is over-ripe for good urban planning, but ... It might "upset" someone.