Public Policy and Urban Planning

posted Friday, January 16, 2009        

JANUARY General meeting – Organizing Questions:

Policy issues – what can be done? What can be done to speed progress – change of policy & zoning? Education and marketing(?) from government. Why is this not utilized in Tucson, Pima Co.? effective tool.

Sustain. Public Participation – full engagement. Vision for region. Equity. Conversation. Compromise – we are convinced we are right. General plan. Historical pressures. Less car centric. Political structure – leverage – how to implement politically, political will. Investment in the process – honest about cost and benefits – Grant Rd – have to go! Take care of what we have.

How can we reduce the use of products that introduce carbon into the atmosphere?

How to we incent density. People move to AZ for wide open spaces and views of mountains – using more land per capita. Citizen opposition to density? Growth rate? State land? Subdivisions? Buyers that WANT density and can get mortgages.

How can we incentivise development of the built environment to be more sustainable?

Bioregional urban design – who’s doing it? General plan. Broader based vision for the area. Car-centric. Definition of sustainable

What underlying systems and policies are impeding the market’s ability to create a more sustainable community? Ie, zoning, land use issues, taxes, etc.

How do we get the political will to acknowledge the desert environment which likely won’t sustain the number of people currently living here?

How can we increase the density of downtown Tucson?H

Will there be high rises all over Tucson to accommodate the population growth or a sustainable development keeping the balance of green w/built environment?

Public Policy – How can ordinances be written to encourage sustainability while protecting “basic freedoms?”

When our democracy is being subverted – public officials spending our money to deceive us – then nothing we the people want can be realize – like – Good ground water for human consumption, not farms and mines.

Can Tucson redevelop land that is already developed? IE: parking lots, abandoned lots, buildings.

Group Discussion:

Public Policy/Planning

Adopt a legal definition of sustainability

Create a framework for a more cohesive process

Better provide for citizen input (evening meetings)

Involve more groups in the decision-making process

Inventory what we now have, especially properties

Assess the cost/benefit of increasing public participation (which MUST happen)

Investigate the best ways to use the political system (change charter, new representatives)

Adopt “relocalization” (peak oil, global warming initiative) as city/county planning goal.

Consider a progressive carbon tax

Create the political will to change

Sell a vision of the Tucson of the future (we once were a sustainable community!)

The vision thing – educating, marketing, public information campaigns – media

Summation

Define the vision and the terms

Ways to involve
The public
The political process
The professionals

Adopt Strategies such as relocalization, carbon tax, inventory

FEBRUARY General meeting — Discussion and Who needs to be involved?

Summary
1) Examine successful processes and adapt them to the Tucson environment.
Study examples: Envision Utah, Portland, OR; Austin TX

2) Basis of conversation is shared values and vision rather than a plan
3)  Need a vision of Tucson based on what we want as opposed to what we don’t want (i.e., Phoenix)
4) Must create clear definitions of the components the vision, i.e., a “green city” &  “open space”

Notes:
COT needs comprehensive plan
And update neighborhood plans
And maintain dept of urban planning and design
Need good-faith collaboration between neighborhoods and city planners and balance representation,
Need a long-term vision for Tucson in future (“Envision utah”
Need community resource centers for education, sharing resources, community building
Need to re-examine public policies
Examine, research other success stories (cities that are moving forward with vision)
Need to identify shared values within the community (input from the bottom up)
Don’t reinvent the wheel look at ways to work with what we’ve got
Need “green” Re-development
(“green” means reduced impact on environment)
Need a clear definition of “Open space”



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