Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Where There is No Vision, The People Perish"

Interesting story on the New West website, about the most recent attempt in Oregon to reinvigorate the public about planning and vision. Many were concerned that it had been more than a generation since the remarkable public support of the 1970's when Oregon's unique planning system was conceived and implemented. Since that time, the vision got lost in the mechanics of day-to-day work and the poorly explained reasoning behind land use decisions.

Oregon planners, through the Oregon APA chapter, attempted for several years to get a new, broad-based visioning effort going, but it too has become mired in technical details rather than taking a new, sweeping look at statewide visions and goals. The ultimate repudiation happened in 2004, when voters passed Measure 37, halting and even reversing much of what earlier Oregonians had been trying to accomplish.

Where are we at in Utah? Do we have broad-based visioning and support? Envision Utah has surely done much to help us get there, but it has been ten years. Time to reinvigorate and re-establish that vision. Some of that effort is currently underway in Washington County with the Vision Dixie effort, something that deserves support and encouragement.

4 Comments:

At 10:53 AM, Blogger burnt bacon said...

Visioning in Utah? An interesting if not frustrating topic. Why is this so hard here? 159 years ago a group of people came here with a clear vision of what they wanted their world to be. They had a written plan which they followed. Somehow in the last fifty years we have forgotten that vision and lost that plan.

A developer friend of mine once told me that “(Utah) was a lump of clay just waiting for his vision.” Is that why we have turned into the dystopia of big box and big developer USA. Visioning entails getting together and finding a common vision from a list of possibilities of where you want to go in the future. I think that is the problem. It requires a common effort. Cooperation. In independent Utah that is almost an impossible feat.

Why does dystopia happen? I have my property and I want to do with it as I may. I move to the suburbs or exurbs thinking I’m moving to the country and complain when someone else does the same and builds their home in what I though was my green space. I complain when “my” freeway becomes to congested because others followed my living plan. Utahn’s should be required to read Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on happiness. Definitely the last chapter. Then maybe they would find their way into the future. Their own future, not the one that is presently being served up to them.

 
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