How Agenda 21 Trumps Planning

Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations resolution signed in 1992 by 170 world leaders, was developed to encourage "sustainable development." Now it’s a political talking point that kills planning efforts all over the country.

Don Terry begins this examination of Agenda 21’s influence over planning by telling the story of Horizon 2025, “a comprehensive development plan” for Baldwin County, Alabama.” The Baldwin County Commission killed the plan, prompting the mass resignation of the county’s Planning and Zoning Commission. According to Terry’s article: “The plan was killed…’on a pretext so devoid of relevance and merit as, in our opinion, to elicit only ridicule on the part of any serious knowledgeable observer.’” That pretext was Agenda 21.

Here’s how Terry sums up the impact of Agenda 21 on planning efforts around the country: “In recent years, Agenda 21 has become an effective rallying cry used by right-wing groups to beat back everything from bike paths to smart meters on home appliances. The attacks have caught city councils, planning commissions and smart-growth advocates across the country off guard, leaving them scrambling to mount a defense. Collateral damage to date includes a light rail system in Tampa, Fla., a federal ‘blueway’ program that would have protected rivers, and a road improvement project in Maine.”

Full Story: Agenda of Fear

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95