The Planning Commission at Work

The 21st Century Comprehensive Plan

July 15th, 1998
Article #316

Read an excerpt from this article below. You can download the full article by using the link at the end of the excerpt.

The last issue of the Planning Commissioners Journal featured an excellent article by planning historian Larry Gerckens reviewing ten key events that helped shape the growth of cities and towns into the 20th Century.

After reading Gerckens' article, I started thinking about the future and what form planning and plans might take in the coming century. Although many factors will undoubtedly shape and influence planning, I want to focus on five ways in which local plans are already starting to change as we near the new century.

1. Vision Driven. Comprehensive planning experienced a boom following World War II. In fact, most communities developed their initial land use plans during the 1950s. A look back at those plans reveals, in general, a problem driven approach. Problems and issues were identified, and solutions proposed.

The problem driven model continues to the present day, but with a new twist. Instead of beginning the planning process with a listing of issues and concerns, communities, through the use of a visioning exercise, craft a picture or image of what the locality intends to make of itself, what it wishes to achieve or become. ...

End of excerpt

article includes a look at these four other ways in which local plans are changing:

2. Thematic Based ...
3. Collaborative Effort ...
4. Regional Focus ...
5. Beyond Paper ...

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