Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Planning to Plan (Part the Next)

From the P-G:

The city of Pittsburgh is looking for consultants to help it plan future uses for its open spaces and preserve its historic places, officials announced today.

Those would be the focuses of the first two chapters of what could grow into the city's first true comprehensive plan, a guide for where development should and shouldn't occur, and a blueprint for what should go where.

"When you don't have a comprehensive plan that ties all of the players in together, everyone goes off and does their different things," said City Planning Director Noor Ismail. The emerging set of plans, which would have to be approved by the Planning Commission and City Council, would be "a blueprint for our future."

Pittsburgh has 1,400 vacant parcels plus steep hillsides that defy easy development. Its 35.9 acres per each 1,000 people makes it relatively spacious among major cities, Ms. Ismail said...
So, tell me Rich: is it technically "burying the lede" if you mention the most interesting part of this whole article in the second paragraph? I suppose it's a shallow grave of an article.

So yeah, the really important phrase there is "the city's first true comprehensive plan," which, if you're following this to its logical conclusion means that City Planning has been planning the City without a plan up to this point.

I'm not sure if this is frightening or just disturbing; frightening because it means that we've just been winging it and disturbing because it means that (if you believe the national media hype) we may have not been doing a bad job at winging it.

Alternatively, we're going to find out that the new plan has no use for ad hoc approaches to City Planning... especially when it comes to billboards.


Anonymous said...

So "Don't Fuck Up" doesn't count as a plan??

Mark Rauterkus said...

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail, -- with one exception: Government command and control.

I'd rather not have a city-wide master plan as it might deliver things like the East Liberty Circle and then the undoing of such. Or, it might get us the West End Circle and the infilling of the tunnel there and un-doing of that. Or, Allegheny Center Mall on the North Side. Planning also got us stuck with other goodies via other authorities -- such as the bill for 3 Rivers Stadium despite it being imploded years ago.

NUKE planning. NUKE the URA. Make that all go out of city government.