Saturday 16 December 2017

BAKERSFIELD GETS READY FOR SMART GROWTH

“Smart Growth” are terms underlying an optimism about ways of using words to change the status quo of indifferent transportation, “cookie cutter”parcel and building designs.

Getting things done differently means an attitude change in those who currently have accountability, authority and responsibility for planning, designing and building our urban environments.

The “Smart Growth” movement is in fact showing a severe lack of confidence in the professionals preparing to serve the twin “Gods” found in cities and counties throughout California, the “plan checker” and the “building inspector”.

Whatever political bent is taken on development projects, it is these folk who are in command and control of what gets built according to standard codes.

Development is accompanied with non risk taking financiers, over cautious lawyers, both of whom restrain developers leadership with fear of doing anything differently but obeying the wishes of the realtors in charge of marketing the same fair of building stuff. This existing picture is indeed debilitating to “Smart Growth”.

Urban design imagination and introduction of new technologies to any of our urban infrastructure is looking into the rear view mirror and hardly moving forward for fear that space users wonít use or live in any new alternative environment.

Take for example the “traffic round-about”. Designed correctly it calms traffic, aims people in slow motion to the right direction, saves intersection capital, operational costs, non productive time, road rage and pollution from idling “stop and start” traffic.

Placement of these traffic intersections work well in Santa Barbara, Dallas and all over the world, showing extraordinary savings in energy consumption, safety and practicality.

So we Bakerfolks must demonstrate with willing collaboration, via incentives and ordinances to advance the regulatory and development review processes. We need to learn, discern, evaluate and then act toward delivering superior urban designs for really new patterns of “Smart Growth”. This mission means daily vigilance.

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