Planning & Transportation

Are We Designing for 2017 or 2070?

In a cross-post from today's Chapel Hill News, Travis and I ask: Are we designing for 2017 or 2070? Read the text below and tell us what you think.

The reality we live in presents numerous challenges and long-term threats. Scientists have been documenting these trends for decades. We know, for example, that climate change is a pressing problem that requires action today (yesterday, really) to mitigate existing damage and prevent further environmental degradation. We also know that rates of obesity in the United States, and in other nations, has risen rapidly, leading to a decline in life expectancy for the first time in modern history.

These two examples highlight the importance of modifying patterns and behaviors today to shape a better future. Local action can be important in setting a positive path forward, especially when state and federal action is insufficient. How can local action help address these major issues? For one thing, we can change how we develop our community.

What We're Reading: June 19

Happy Friday! Here are a few articles that piqued our interest this week:

Trying to Sum It All Up

It’s tough trying to boil multiple-hour meetings into a news story.  Local media outlets have recapped the public hearing where the Obey Creek development agreement was approved after a nearly six year process (read more here and here). I tried futilely to capture what Council said in 140 characters (see Storifys from the May 11, May 18, June 8, and June 15 meetings that discussed Obey Creek). 

Town Council Delays Vote on Obey Creek

At their meeting last night, the Chapel Hill Town Council took public comment and discussed the Obey Creek development agreement, but delayed a vote on the proposal until next Monday.

The Council also discussed and enacted the 2015-16 budget and approved a revised personnel ordinance.

Public comment on Obey Creek centered around the issues that have long dominated the discussion: traffic, transit, and the size of the development. Council members seemed interested in delaying their vote a week due to new staff information, including smaller development scenario outcomes, that the Council received last Friday.

Tweets recapping last night's meeting are captured in the Storify below. Have thoughts about Obey Creek or the other items discussed? Add them in the comments.

What We're Reading: June 5

We read a lot of articles about local government, public sector innovation, open government, urban planning, and social justice. Since we often relate these articles to things happening locally here in Orange County and the Triangle, we thought we'd start sharing them from time to time. Here's what we read this week:

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