Think City Planning is Just for the Government?


For several years I worked as a reporter, and attended my fair share of county and city council meetings. They weren’t always interesting, but they were a part of the job, and I discovered that more people should get involved, or at least read about it in the paper.

I was reminded of it this morning when I read about the giant Brooklyn sinkhole that threatened to destroy personal property, possibly due to a sewer line malfunction. Down here in the South, we have those problems  too. They’re just as big, and it’s due to poor planning by city and county governments.

Is it possible to plan out one hundred years, or even fifty years, in advance? Yes and no. On the one hand, you have no idea how much or how little growth you’re going to get. On the other hand, you do have a choice when it comes to development. Case in point: all those empty housing areas just waiting for some luck, hoping people will come along and purchase property and build houses. In a lot of cases, it ain’t happening. But what if it did? Does the city have enough infrastructure to support, say, a hundred new homes? And what about the local school system? Can it handle the extra students? The more development they build, the more houses they create, the more water,  sewer, and trash service are  affected, and the more schools they have to build, which also affect the aforementioned services. And what happened when everything dried up? There are empty schools and development areas and no money to repair all these roads and sewer and water lines.

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