Learning To Think and Act Like A Region

The Pawcatuck Borderlands illustrates what is fast becoming one of the major puzzles in land use policy -- how to plan across boundaries.

"The history of regionalism in America dates back to at least the mid-nineteenth century and the writing of John Wesley Powell (McKinney et al. 2004). As we move into the twenty-first century, there seem to be two basic responses to this planning puzzle. The first is to create new regional institutions or realign existing institutions to correspond to the territory of the problem, and the second is to start with more informal, ad hoc regional forums."

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David Renkert's picture

"parcel and political lines fragment opportunities"

This is a common problem and the authors make a number of great points. Planners should use economic and ecological analysis to delineate parcels that control opportunities and therefore be planned as a unit. Property owners will now have specific reasons to get involved in the planning process. As it stands, forming another level of planning entity will only be met with apathy by the majority of those who live on the land.

If property owners form businesses to manage conservation and development regionally, the real estate private equity firms will supply capital to meet their short-term interests and prevent the fragmentation of economic and ecological opportunities. I wrote an OpEd about this a while back and it is the direction regional planning will have to go in the future. I only hope it happens soon enough. http://www.planetizen.com/node/17472

David Renkert, Founder
Landpool Partners

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