Successful communities have strong leaders and committed citizens. It’s true: a small number of committed people can make a big difference in a community.
Edward McMahon is a nationally renowned authority on sustainable development, land conservation. and urban design. He is currently a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute.
McMahon previously served as director of The Conservation Fund’s “American Greenways Program” and as president of Scenic America, a national non-profit organization devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes.
Over the course of 15 years, Ed McMahon authored more than two dozen articles for the Planning Commissioners Journal. They are listed below. Click on the title to read excerpts. PlannersWeb members can download the articles in pdf format as published in the PCJ (click on the title first; you will then see the Download link)
The more any community in America comes to look just like every other community the less reason there is to visit. On the other hand, the more a community does to protect and enhance its uniqueness whether natural or architectural, the more people will want to visit.
Successful communities know that today’s world requires cooperation for mutual benefit. They understand that very few small towns have the resources, by themselves, to attract tourists or to compete with larger communities.
All development is not created equal. Some development projects will make a community a better place to live, work, and visit. Other development projects will not. The proof is everywhere, communities that set low standards or no standards will compete to the bottom.
Successful communities use education, incentives, partnerships, and voluntary initiatives not just regulation. While regulations are essential in setting minimum standards — and can prevent the worst in development — they rarely bring out the best.
Twenty-first century economic development focuses on what a community has, rather than what it doesn’t have. Creating a vision for the future begins by inventorying a community’s assets: natural, architectural, human, educational, economic, and so on.
Planning and land development analyst Ed McMahon looks at ways in which communities — large and small — can succeed. In today’s first installment, McMahon speaks of the importance of having a vision for the future.
Ed McMahon, the Urban Land Institute’s Senior Fellow for Sustainable Development provided a riveting talk at the Northern New England APA Conference in Brunswick, Maine. His focus: changing trends in economic development, and how they are affecting the shape of our communities.
Eight of our regular contributing writers take a brief look at various challenges and opportunities facing planning commissions and their communities.
Long-time Planning Commissioners Journal columnist Ed McMahon on why the era of strip commercial development may be nearing an end.
A conversation with Ed McMahon about his just-published PCJ article on billboard control.
Why cities and towns benefit when they just say “no” to the continued proliferation of billboards. A report from PCJ contributing writer & ULI Senior Resident Fellow Ed McMahon.
Why fostering a sense of place is key to having a strong, economically vibrant city or town. Observations from PCJ contributing writer & ULI Senior Resident Ed McMahon.