Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cities Of The Future Recap

A city's green blueprint
Link (JG)

"Jeremy Harris, who was mayor of the city and county of Honolulu for a decade, was the guest of the Fort Wayne chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the city of Fort Wayne and others for an address Monday at the Allen County Public Library. His message was one of urgency in building communities less reliant on non-renewable resources and one of promise in building communities that are attractive, livable and environmentally conscious. His suggestions for eliciting public involvement in a bold redevelopment plan are well worth considering."


"Mistakes that resulted in traffic-choked freeways, urban sprawl and endangered wildlife inspired “21st Century Oahu,” the former mayor’s initiative to gather broad community involvement in a massive redevelopment project. Residents were invited to “visioning” sessions where they were asked to tell – and show with photos from disposable cameras – what they liked and didn’t like about their home. From their responses, architects and urban planners drew up project ideas for 19 development areas, fueled by a $2-million-apiece investment of city funds. Billions in public and private investment followed."


"The former mayor was in attendance Monday and said afterward that it was gratifying to have such efforts validated, but he also pointed out that selling Honolulu residents on bolder development issues was easier because they appreciate the need to protect resources that draw tourists. The same task is tougher for Fort Wayne, where the transition from an industrial-based economy to a new economic model isn’t so apparent, Richard said."


"The former Honolulu mayor gave an enticing view of the great things that can happen when everyone works together with a goal of building a city that works for residents and the environment. Local officials can start by working together and then inviting the community to join in."