Blog 3: Master Planned Communities – A New Approach

Most master planned communities are missing several important components that would make them applicable for conditions that are needed today and in the future.  Most of them are located on the fringes of existing urban areas and are marketed to include middle and higher income groups.  In many cases they are not connected to bus or rail lines and this makes them isolated from lower income families needed to serve labor for gardening, housework and other functions that are needed in the proposed community.  This means that transportation to the area is expensive for these workers to get to the site.  In the plan shown the Self Sufficient Community is the proposed location for the PDP.  Since agriculture is a component of the design the need for educated workers is imperative for the project to be successful.

An issue (Spring 2019) of the World Bank Research Digest has several articles for consideration that are applicable to this and other transportation problems.  One is Building Sustainable Cities and Efficient Infrastructure.  Most of the articles pertain to the developing world but are worth consideration by the developed world also.  Urban expansion presently is not sustainable to meet future urban needs.  It notes:

Infrastructure development usually lags behind urban population growth.  Rapid urban growth is also linked to environmental concerns by cities that presently use close to 70% of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global gas emissions.  Almost half a billion urban residents live in coastal areas that are vulnerable to storms, storm surges and sea-level rise.  Urbanization can contribute to sustainable growth (including tackling climate change) if managed well. 

This blog will concern itself with only part of the transportation equation.  That is by including an area in a plan (as shown above) or scattered in areas that do not have lower income housing.  This is not the typical low income housing where just housing is used, but would be communities that would be an adaption of the Pilot Demonstration Plan/Project.  These PDP communities would enhance the areas around them as well as being as sustainable as possible.  This approach would reduce traffic since lower income people would not have to travel long distances to get to the areas where they are working.  In fact the larger master planned communities would have their own bus service for people that do not have their own automobiles.  Work would be generated within both the master planned community and the PDP. 

By reducing auto and bus traffic the air pollution would be reduced considerably. The lower income workers traffic time is also lowered.  Everyone in the community as well as visitors would have their own identification cards.  This system with the PDP offers education and unique work opportunities for everyone.  The master planned community concept is just one example of how of how the PDP could be used. 

Any project developed now should be as sustainable as possible and sustainable ideas are needed to make any project successful and relative to future needs by any community.  People have to contribute and I would welcome ideas.  Future blogs would include these ideas (contributor names noted).  People should have a say in what is happening to them in today’s world so that this world can be improved before environmental problems destroy us as a society.

-George Hunt

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