Thursday, July 30, 2009

Vision California and the future of land use & transportation

(Photo sequence illustrating the transformation of a blighted suburban-style strip into a thriving urban neighborhood complete with streetcar from Urban Advantage.)

There is a crisis involving land use in the State of California, a slow-motion train wreck that has been playing out over many decades and has resulted in an unhealthy, unsustainable landscape of foreclosed homes and a disposable built environment that works better for automobiles than it does for actual people. For nearly as many decades, environmental groups groups have been trying to solve this problem by working to achieve smarter regional planning frameworks that can simultaneously promote walkable, local communities while protecting open space.

The Vision California project seeks to articulate the solutions to this land use and transportation crisis in a manner that delivers extremely rapid results, timed to coincide with the important policy decisions being made during this time of rapidly-changing state air quality and land use policies.

I'm lucky enough to be able to work on the Vision California project in my capacity as a Senior Planner with Calthorpe Associates, which is the lead consultant in charge of the project.

For more information on Vision California, please find it under the "Sustainability and High-Speed Trains" portion of the California High Speed Rail Authority's online library, at:

If anybody expresses interest in the comments, I'd be happy to share more information on the project.