Apr 20, 2009

Planning To Procrastinate

That is one heck of a rendering, Chicago!
I am up to my ears in finals work and I am procrastinating. Just a little bit. Just enough to keep me sane. The point of procrastinating is to redirect the channel of energy from the insurmountable task at hand (which inevitably gets done and done on time, which is why it's called "procrastinating," not "leaving work incomplete") and distract oneself with that veil of productivity. I may not have written my paper on lesbian pregnancies, but I sure as hell did all my laundry, cleaned my room, updated my twitter feed, and read ALL my bookmark tabs.

This last little bit is something I'd like to post today. I know I've been thin on the posting recently but don't worry, I've just been procrastinating on procrastinating.

One site I read all the updates on is Planetizen.com. It's an incredible source for the latest news in planning and sustainability - literally. The feed I subscribe to aggregates articles written about cities and planning them and it just pulled up a nice blog post on Chicago's Burnham Plan and what made it successful. The blog is The Urbanophile and tucked neatly into a numbered list is this second point the writer makes:
It took two years to create. The Burnham Plan was not an overnight creation. It took a lot of research and deliberation. Today, it would likely take even longer. This is another reason why politicians aren't likely to be the driving force. They need solutions that show results within the election cycle. They need to cut ribbons, not produce three year studies.

He also mentions that the plan was private, and driven by businesses, which is something I don't often hear much of in what planning literature I read. Policy change is oen way to promote sustainable growth, but can it be done humanely on a big-business scale? It seems to have worked, but I haven't researched it past a wikipedia article and this blog post I just read.

Equally interesting is the comment section on the blog post. They're long, involved and thoughtful. How strange! Here's one quote about "Brain Drain" that I thought was interesting:
If you are mayor, alderman, business leader, merchant or anyone else and who thinks your commercial corridors are heinous, your urban cores are hard on the eyes and that your public realm, in general, really bites (parks, plazas, etc.), then everyone else probably thinks so, too.

Especially your nearby and newly minted college grads who now packing their suitcases.

Plain and simple.

I will put this subject on a list of things to research when I feel like procrastinating more at a later time (probably in a few hours, let's be honest). But right now I've got an analytical paper to write for a literature class. Then onto lesbian mothers for sociology. I am learning so many interesting things in college!

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