4 thoughts on “Comprehensive Planning Not So Easy to Follow

  1. The CPI will serve to “educate residents to create capacity for true partners in the planning process and leaders in implementation.”

    This sounds like a one-way conversation. Is there a possibility for residents to educate City leaders and create capacity for true partners in the planning process and leaders in implementation?”

  2. Thanks Robert – simply to note, most if not all of the cities ranking the highest on the Young & Restless list that you have reported about far outscore car-dependent San Antonio in most if not all ‘walk score’ categories (www.walkscore.com) – even with our incredible RiverWalk and B-Cycle program and terrific VIA transit drivers.

    I’m not certain most current or prospective residents are willing to wait another 25 years for improvements in this regard – including as numerous area-specific and cost-effective pedestrian environment improvement projects (better and wider sidewalks, bus shelters, public seating, street trees, small parks,, etc) specified in the last round of neighborhood comprehensive planning / MOUs (ca. 2000) have not been completed.

    If the City can afford the ‘eyeball glazing’ (as you suggest, killing us Microsoftly with PowerPoint) urban planning meeting room regime outlined above – in parallel with separate SA2020 planning as well as Alamo Area MPO 2040 transit planning and various stand-alone ‘placemaking’ exercises, it could certainly afford Gehl Architects (or at least look at their approaches to comprehensive urban analysis and quick and low cost improvements to the public domain) – the planners and designers responsible for the dramatic and fast-paced turnaround of formerly car-dependent cities ranging from Copenhagen, Denmark to Melbourne, Australia.

    Looking at Gehl’s recent work for the City of Adelaide, Australia (a city with a population size and underdog status / national blindspot existence comparable with San Antonio’s ) – which builds upon Gehl’s base analysis of that city completed roughly a decade ago, the City of San Antonio could easily find itself working directly with ‘young and restless’ local students this year (a tactic Gehl Architects regularly employs) to plan and begin implementing immediate and low cost solutions, such as:

    – closing select city streets to traffic on weekends if not permanently

    – planning the gradual shutdown of all City-owned car parks

    – creating an inviting pedestrian network with pedestrian priority streets that connect important destinations in the city – including by establishing wider and better sidewalks, improved resting areas and minimizing pedestrian crossing wait times or inconveniences

    – creating an overall strategy for connecting and improving city parks

    – designating roads through parklands (such as Avenue B, Devine Rd, etc) as public transport routes – with transport planning emphasizing links with the airport and other regional mass transport options

    With the current approach, it appears we are paying leading city urban planning and management prices but with no where near the same practical outcomes or results in creating a fantastic and less car-dependent city for all residents and visitors.

  3. How is the following not more “cronyism”:
    The Citizen Planning Institute will be assembled from a list of individuals nominated by the Mayor and 10 Council members and will serve to “educate residents to create capacity for true partners in the planning process and leaders in implementation.”

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