Friday, May 11, 2012

The Planner

I don't often post about my service on the Roseville Planning Commission. Numerous ethics courses have me "scared straight" about discussing official business in a manner inconsistent with Minnesota's Open Meeting Law. My blatherings on the blog would be permissible as they represent me expressing my opinion - and this blog is not a forum for members to gather and debate the issue - but - I'm a careful guy. If you want to see what happens at the Commission, attend the meeting, watch the replays on cable, or read the minutes online. I read this today in my favorite blog, The Bleat: The quote,
A top-down plan that tries to manufacture a dense community will fail. You have two instincts at work in city planning: make it happen, or let it happen. The former looks great on paper. The latter is a better place for living.
The context, Comparing the site of the recenty approved Vikings Stadium - which happens to be where the Metrodome has stood for 30 years or so - to the newer Target Stadium (hope of the Minnesota Twins),
But what about the Twins stadium? The area around there is doing great. Yes, because it was already the entertainment district. Because gentrification of the old warehouses was already underway, and the density is much higher. A decade-long redefinition of the area was underway, thanks to scores of individual initiatives. A top-down plan that tries to manufacture a dense community will fail. You have two instincts at work in city planning: make it happen, or let it happen. The former looks great on paper. The latter is a better place for living.
For the record, I prefer the “let it happen” approach.

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