Monday, September 25, 2006

Oh Rebuild Me A Home, Where The Walkers Can Roam

The district rebuilding plans have been released and can be viewed via the links below:

I haven't been able to fully digest the impact the plans will have on the city as a whole but I can make a few observations.

First of all, the changes to the city scape are not as dramatic as I would have hoped which makes all the more likely that the rebuilding will happen. The recovery plans mostly focus on the restoration and improvement of the damaged infrastructure. That should be a no-brainer. However what is important is that different utilities and infrastructure are given different priorities reflecting their importance to the residents.

Second, one thing that did stand out is that a district's priorities were somewhat consistant with that of other districts with similar income levels. Fore example. The more affluent districts tended to want less parks and more green space along boulevards, mixed-use commercial developments and better streets and sidewalks. The middle-class neighborhoods are looking for some of the same improvements as the affluent areas in addition to pedestrian and bicycle paths whereas the poorer areas tend to concentrate on parks, neighborhood grocery stores and pharmacies as well as improved mass transit and sometimes an expanded street car line.

What is positive about these plans is that they reflect the priorities of the residents and not the dreams of some far-off planners. In addition, these plans are not entirely inconsistent with the city master plan commissioned by the BNOB last fall and was widely criticized.

The next step will be for the various district plans to be coordinated into an overall master plan for the city. Some might say that the earlier master plan was a waste of time and money. Not necessarily. The plan unveiled by the BNOB can serve as a guidepost for integrating the disparate plans into a single cohesive plan that everyone can be happy with.


Dan said...

No contact information, so this is the only way to drop you a line. I'm trying to figure out why some bloggers, including yourself, link to many other planning-related web sites, but not one that I've been running since 1994. Please drop me a line: cybur bia {a-t} cyb urbia {d0t} 0rg. Thanks!

Kinch said...

I've added an email link to the template. You can use to contact me if you wish.