Wonks on the Web: E M Risse

The Shape of the Future



Ed Risse is the principal of SYNERGY/Planning, Inc. He has spent much of his professional career working with builders and developers to plan, design and deliver community-, village-, neighborhood- and cluster-scale projects where citizens want to live, work, seek services and participate in leisure activities. In the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region, there are over 50,000 residents and 20,000 workers in places Risse has designed, planned and managed.

 

A summary of SYNERGY/Planning, Inc.ís services can be found at www.synergyplanninginc.com

 

Risse is also the designer of community governance structures and land-use control systems including the 5,000,000-acre Adirondack Park, the largest one in the United States. For over two decades, he has been active in the identification of sources of transport funding and in the creation of a balance between transportation system capacity and travel demand. Over the past 20 years, Risse has spent much of his time working with subregional and regional institutions to create sustainable human settlement patterns.

 

Ed Risse is the author of over 200 studies, reports, books and articles on human settlement pattern. He has developed a `unified field theory' of human settlement, which is articulated in The Shape of the Future. He also authored the Handbook for a Viable Future, which lays out a new three-step planning process to create balanced communities. Risse is the architect of The Third Way Program, the goal of which is to avoid the stalemate between "Business-As-Usual" and "growth control."

 

Over the past 35 years, Dr. Risse has taught urban and regional planning to architects, lawyers and planners at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's School of Architecture, George Mason University Law School, in the University of Virginia's graduate planning program and other institutions. His academic background includes forestry, physics, architecture, philosophy and planning. He holds a BA in Mathematics from the University of Montana and JD and LLB degrees from the University of California at Berkeley.

 


 

Columns

 

September 8: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies. One reason it's so hard for people to envision functional human settlement patterns is that the images peddled by the Business-As-Usual crowd are so deceptive.

 

September 8: Katrina Yet Again. The hurricanes keep coming -- and they always will. We can continue Business As Usual, making ourselves more vulnerable, or we can evolve safer, better protected human settlement patterns.

 

August 25: Asphalt Deserts. The American addiction to Autonobiles and imported oil drains our economy of wealth in ways obvious and subtle. We convert green landscape into swaths of pavement, contributing to our own desertification.

 

August 3: Beyond the Headlines. A thread runs between many newspaper stories: Higher energy prices are reordering everything from international trade flows to housing affordability. Too bad our Institutions are responding so sluggishly.

 

July 21: Rocky Mountain Low. A WaPo story highlights the threat of converting Montana wilderness into masses of McLodges. But there's more to the story: Developers are destroying the land they exploit and, with rising energy prices, are creating the ghost (non) towns of tomorrow.

 

July 7: The Wealth Gap. Sooner or later, an economy built on wildly unequal incomes, cheap energy and debt-fueled mass over-consumption will collapse. Mass denial will not change this reality.

 

June 23: Shaping a Functional and Sustainable Future in Greater Warrenton-Fauquier

 

June 2: Riding the Tiger. Many citizens, abetted by the MainStream Media, are clinging to oil and autonomobile dependency to the bitter end. A dismal reality of ever-climbing energy awaits them.

 

May 19: Three Little Words. The phrase "no cheap energy" embodies an economic reality that is shaking the foundation of First World Civilization. But citizens and politicians still act as if they can ignore it.

 

May 5: The Beltway to Easter Island. Like the Eastern Islanders who built the big-eared moia, the engineers of the well-treed Capital Beltway are oblivious to the signs of impending ecological collapse.

 

April 21: The End of Flight as We Know It. Between fuel prices, terrorism and the environment,  air travel is losing altitude fast. In the not-too-distant future, plane rides will be a luxury for those at the top of the economic pyramid.

 

April 7: Space to Drive and Park. Cars consume huge amounts of space for roads and parking, which disaggregates human settlement patterns, co-opts transportation alternatives, and... increases dependence upon cars.

 

April 7: Two Spheres of Fraud. While the media salivates over the subprime lending fiasco, journalists are overlooking the main reason why Americans can't afford housing:  the building of the wrong kind of housing in the wrong places.

 

March 24: Good News, Bad Reporting. As the economy weakens, you can count on the MainStream Media to defend MassOverconsumption and Business As Usual in a desperate bid to keep the advertising dollars flowing.

 

March 5: Learning from Big Boxes. Consumers love big box stores for their "bargains" and "everyday low prices." What they don't see are the costs imposed by hidden subsidies and the scatteration of human settlement patterns.

 

February 25: Learning from the Mouse. Why do people travel halfway around the world to visit Disney World and Octoberfest? One big reason: Both are places where you don't need cars to get around.

 

February 11: What Is the Problem with Cars? Cars are a 20th century answer to a 19th century problem. Tweaking our auto-centric transportation system will not address the 21st century realities of traffic congestion, escalating energy prices and Global Warming.

 

January 28: Who Killed Rail-to-Dulles? Many people share the blame for the collapse of the Rail-to-Dulles financing scheme. The feds are only the first in a long line of guilty parties.

 

January 14: The Road Ahead. As the MainStream Media fails to provide information citizens need to function as voters and consumers, a citizen-driven media will emerge to fill the void. It's not yet clear what that new media will look like.

 

- 2007 -

 

December 27: The Rise and Fall of Journalism. The age of traditional journalism is ending as media Enterprises lose their grip on information markets and advertising revenues decline. The big question: Can citizen-generation information take its place?

 

December 27: Why Metro-to-Tysons Is a Mess. The reason the Metro-to-Dulles project is in danger of collapsing can be traced to unbalanced development, conflicting interests among landowners and developers, and the politics of Business As Usual.

 

December 10: The Estates Matrix. Estates, the organizing constructs of human society, have undergone dramatic conversions over the past 700 years. In the process, the Fourth estate has relinquished its once-decisive role.

 

November 26: Introduction to "The Estates Matrix"

 

November 26: The Morphed Estate. The Fourth Estate has abdicated its responsibilities. Citizens can no longer rely upon the MainStream Media to provide the news they need to participate in a democratic polity and market economy.

 

November 12: One More? Two More? How many more years of political fraud must we endure? Here are some proposals to make the political system more responsive to the needs of a 21st-century polity.

 

October 29: A Waste of Energy. Most "energy conservation" initiatives fall short because they don't address dysfunctional human settlement patterns, the root cause of excess consumption. 

 

October 15: Tulips and the Maritime Highway. Moving goods on water rather than roads can be a good thing, but it's only a tiny part of the solution. Creating a sustainable trajectory for civilization requires shipping goods shorter distances.

 

September 4: A Second Stroll with Katrina. We haven't made much progress preparing New Orleans for another hurricane, but at least we have a clearer idea of what went wrong. Dysfunctional human settlement patterns + Business As Usual governance = disaster.

 

August 13: GLOSSARY: The Online Edition. The first step in creating a sustainable society is to use words that precisely describe the world as it is. Today, we update the glossary of those words.

 

July 30: End of the Family as we Know It. The word "family" means many things to many people. For purposes of examining human settlement patterns, the term "household" is more precise.

 

July 16: How About Sustainable Logic? In the community of people who think seriously about economic development and the natural environment, "sustainable" has a specific meaning. In Virginia, that meaning has been corrupted by loose usage.

 

July 2: Still No Exit. Earth is the only biosphere we've got. Gliese 581-C-A, the closest potentially earth-like planet yet discovered, is 20 light-years away. We must build a sustainable civilization here at home.

 

June 19: The Conservation Imperative. No fantastical technology, green or otherwise, can keep the world on its increasingly energy-intensive development path. We need to get serious about conservation.

 

May 14: What Is Wrong with this Picture? Yes, the United States does need to invest more money on infrastructure. But without Fundamental Change in human settlement patterns, most of the spending would be squandered.

 

April 30: Recent Clippings. Overshadowed by the horror at Virginia Tech, the MainStream Media contributed some solid reporting last week about taxes and the environment. All the stories lacked was an overarching context.

 

April 16: All Aboard! An above-ground version of METRO rail can work in Tysons Corner. But it will take two things: Public Way Rights and a Pyramid development strategy.

 

March 21: Size Really Doesn't Matter. Yes, the world would be better off if everyone drove smaller, fuel-efficient, non-polluting cars. But even small cars can't solve traffic congestion. Only functional human settlement patterns can do that.

 

March 5: Taxes, Status and Ladies' Purses. Why do politicians resist raising taxes for basic government services? Blame the all-too-human preference for status and luxuries over necessities.

 

March 5: Conservatism and Fundamental Change. The principles behind The Shape of the Future have been called "socialist," "fascist," and everything in between. We call them profoundly conservative.

 

February 5: Solving the Commuter Problem. There are no magic technological fixes for rush-hour traffic congestion. The only real solution is building balanced communities that support fewer, shorter automobile trips.

 

January 8: Can't Take This -- Not Another Day! Virginia politicians have finally discovered the "land use" word -- they just don't know what it means. Their so-called reforms will solve nothing.

 

January 8: Summary of TRILO-G. Backgrounder: TRILO-G combines "The Shape of the Future", "BRIDGES", and "ACTION" to provide understanding of human settlement patterns, current commentary and a handbook for citizen action.

 

- 2006 -

 

December 18: Neighborhood Values. If you want to promote family values, dispense with cultural wedge issues like abortion and gay marriage and focus on creating supportive dooryards and neighborhoods.

 

December 4: Clueless Parties. Politicians talk about protecting the "American Dream." What they refuse to tell voters is that the greatest threat to an unsustainable American way of life is... the American way of life.

 

November 20: Moldy Bread, Lame Circuses. November's elections decided only this: that the two-party duopoly would remain in power, that fundamental change would not occur, and the nation would continue its slide down an unsustainable path.

 

November 6: Bread and Circuses. The philosophy of "Buy More Stuff" does not make Americans particularly happy, and it definitely is not sustainable. But politicians of both parties still peddle the fantasy.

 

October 23: Big (Gray, Brown) Sky Country. Afflicted by global climate change and energy- inefficient human settlement patterns, my home state of Montana is on an unsustainable growth path.

 

October 9: Grow Your Spinach! Food safety is like water -- it's one of those things you take for granted until you don't have it. A food distribution system based on regional produce would be far easier to keep safe than what we have now.

 

September 25: Jackpot Winner. Americans are like the overweight Lotto winner who squanders his winnings. The discovery of oil deep in the Gulf of Mexico will do little to halt the coming energy crash. 

 

September 11: Two Steps Backward. Tim Kaine has made two decisions that will aggravate Virginia's dysfunctional human settlement patterns: He nixed the tunnel for the Tysons METRO extension and he picked a traditional highway guy to run VDOT.

 

August 28: The Whale on the Beach. The era of massive over-consumption of the earth's natural capital is coming to an end. The only prayer for sustaining our quality of life is to adopt more efficient human settlement patterns.

 

August 7: Soft Consumption Paths. Energy consumption in the United States is growing at an unsustainable rate -- and we're running out of time before a crash landing. We need to think seriously and comprehensively about conservation.

 

July 10: Burned Out. The story of Bill Downey, a Fauquier County supervisor who declined to run for re-election, is more than the tale of one man's frustration: It's emblematic of spreading dysfunction as non-urban communities begin to urbanize.

 

June 26: The Free Ride is Over. The General Assembly paid lip service this year to the transportation-land use connection but it didn't come close to Fundamental Change. Until it does, Virginia's mobility crisis will only get worse.

 

June 26: Envision This! What the "Washington region" needs is not another visioning session -- it needs a rational definition of the region, an understanding of the nature of its problems  and the political will to enact real change.

 

May 15: The Problem with "Mass" Transit. Light and heavy rail are expensive, inflexible alternatives to the automobile. It's time to consider a 21st-century solution to mobility in New Urban Regions: Personal Rapid Transit.

 

March 20: Words Matter. There's no hope of making progress on Virginia's most intractable problems when our words only cloud understanding. Our goal in 2006 is to introduce a more robust Vocabulary.

 

January 3: Babble Postscript. The use of confusing vocabulary in the discussion of human settlement patterns just won't go away. Here's an update of uses and abuses since our last column.

 

January 3: The Devil's Dance. The fiendish whirl of activity during the 2006 General Assembly session won't come close to addressing the fundamental problems facing the Commonwealth.

 

- 2005 -

 

December 12: Deconstructing the Tower of Babel. The words "suburb," "urban," and "city" mean different things to everyone who hears them. Without a precise vocabulary, writers can't communicate clearly on the most pressing issues of the day.

 

November 28: The Foundation of Babble. In the study of human settlement patterns, sloppy language leads to sloppy thought. Take, for instance, the use of the word "sprawl."

 

October 31: Mobility and Access: A Report Card. Philip Shucet ran a tight ship at VDOT, but his 10 recommendations for transportation reform reflect the tunnel vision of a highway engineer. He still doesn't get the need for fundamental change in human settlement patterns.

 

October 17: Reality-Based Regionalism. Most people talk about "regionalism" with no clear idea of what they mean. A regional approach to solving problems is a good idea -- if informed by Geographic Literacy.

 

October 3: A View from the Heartland. Scattered, low-density settlement patterns make us sitting ducks for energy shocks and natural disasters.

 

September 19: Post Labor Day Funk. Political campaigns are supposed to pick up in September. But the yack-fest that passes for debate in Virginia has only obscured the fundamental issues and distracted voters.

 

September 5: Down Memory Lane with Katrina. Hurricane Katrina was anything but a "natural" disaster. New Orleans' vulnerability to a Cat 5 hurricane has been well documented since the 1970s, if not earlier.

 

August 23: Balanced Communities. Developing "balanced communities" is critical to achieving sustainable New Urban Regions in a globally competitive economy. Herewith is a primer on what they are and how to create them. 

 

August 8: "Collapse," an Appreciation. Jared Diamond's master work surveys the collapse of unsustainable societies from the ancient Mayans to the Greenland Norse. There are lessons there for 21st century Virginians.

 

July 25: Solutions to the Shelter Crisis. The price of housing is getting out of reach for a majority of Virginians. The solution isn't more government subsidies, which are part of the problem, but putting houses in the right location.

 

July 25: Discordant Trio. Adam Smith, Andrew Jackson and Henry Ford originated powerful strains of thought in American democracy.  Each one has its merits.  But working in concert, they create an unsustainable society.

 

July 11: Transport in the November Election. Politicians are fixated on finding more money for Virginia's ailing transportation system, whether through taxes, tolls or private investment. But without Balanced Communities, there will never be enough money.

 

June 20: Reforming the Property Tax. Forget about providing "relief" for residential property taxes. That's a Band-Aid. Restructure taxes to eliminate incentives behind so much of today's dysfunctional economic and social behavior.

 

June 20: METRO Ills and Base Closings. In the absence of balanced system capacity and Subregional demand, the METRO will be a long-term drain on Virginia's treasury. But the proposed military base realignment could help create that balance.

 

June 20: Cohousing and Dooryard Density. The "Cohousing" movement provides useful data on density for residential projects. If re-developed at "Cohousing" densities, our Subregions could accommodate growth for years without consuming any more land.

 

June 6: Regional Rigor Mortis. The latest Urban Mobility report confirms what we all know: Traffic congestion is getting worse. As Virginia's transportation systems decay, so do our regional economies and quality of life.

 

May 23: The Shelter Crisis. Massive housing subsidies and dysfunctional human settlement patterns make a volatile mix. We're witnessing the worst housing bubble in the history of the United States. The inevitable bust will be painful.

 

May 9: Antidotes. Land use myths are propagating like a virus: Find a cure for one, and new mutations multiply. Here, we offer three approaches for quarantining these bad ideas. 

 

April 25: Gimme Shelter. Rising housing prices create a false prosperity. Taxes are rising, newcomers are priced out of the housing market and the real estate bubble will bring widespread misery when it busts.

 

April 11: Take Me Home, Congested, Non-Urban Road. Dysfunctional human settlement patterns and traffic congestion are spreading to West Virginia's panhandle. Traditional conservation tactics will not work.

 

March 28: Land Conservation Quandary. Traditional conservation techniques aren't working. Because of Geographic Illiteracy, they're accelerating the spread of dysfunctional land use patterns.

 

March 14: Land Speculators 2, Citizens 0. Property rights zealots are cackling over the overturn of Growth Management initiatives in Portland, Ore., and Loudoun County, Va. Land  speculators profit, and the public loses again.

 

February 28: Interstate Crime. Business-As-Usual interests are calling for bigger, wider Interstates to improve interregional mobility. The schemes won't work because they don't create Balanced Communities.

 

February 14: The Mother of All Dysfunction. A failing education system puts Americans at risk in a globally competitive economy and undermines our democracy.

 

January 31: Education and Human Settlement Patterns. Want better education for Virginia's children? We need to change the size, location and funding of our schools. 

 

January 17: The Commuting Problem. Mass transit is just one more "solution" that won't work in the absence of Balanced Communities. Money spent on helping commuters is money squandered.

 

January 4: New Year's Resolution. Our politicians and pundits could resolve to tell the truth about what it takes to ameliorate traffic congestion. Of course, they're no more likely to do so than they are to lose 20 pounds.

 

- 2004 -

 

December 13: A Summing Up. No one disputes the facts regarding the debilitating impact of dysfunctional human settlement patterns -- but Virginia opinion leaders ignore them all the same. Ever optimistic, we suggest some light holiday reading.

 

November 29: From Myth to Law. The Private Vehicle Mobility Myth and Myth of the Big Yard induce citizens  to make millions of small decisions that lead to dysfunctional settlement patterns. Only by spreading the obverse of those myths--natural laws--can we reverse the trend.

 

November 15: The Skycar Myth. Small airplanes have their uses, but the idea of subsidizing their development as personal mobility vehicles is unsound. There is no substitute for functional human settlement patterns.

 

November 1: Dying Young in Traffic. Why are so many teenagers dying in auto accidents? Because the lack of walkable, balanced communities means young people have to drive a car to go anywhere or do anything.

 

October 18: Rethinking Metro. Investing in the METRO is the single best bet for improving mobility and access in the National Capital Subregion -- but only if it serves the interests of citizens, not Business As Usual.

 

October 4: Chasing out the Mouse. Fending off the Disney's America project 10 years ago was a victory -- but only a temporary one -- against the relentless spread of dysfunctional human settlement patterns. 

 

September 20: Spinning Data, Spinning Wheels. Traffic congestion is actually worse than stated in the widely touted 2004 Urban Mobility Study. And the only real solution -- fundamental land use reform -- is downplayed for reasons of self interest.

 

September 7: Looking for Mr. Goodgrowth. The time is ripe for a gubernatorial candidate to defy the Business As Usual special interests and take the case for Fundamental Change to the voters. 

 

August 23: The Trap of Great Examples. Good examples, even great examples, of development have failed to influence the descent toward dysfunctional human settlement patterns and chaos.

 

August 9: Media Myopia. Articles and editorials in Virginia's newspapers consistently obscure the origins of traffic congestion and legitimize the special interests that benefit from raising taxes/building more roads.

 

July 26: Out of Chaos. There is only one solution to intensifying traffic congestion -- Fundamental Change in human settlement patterns. Other touted remedies only tinker at the edges.

 

July 12: The Perfect Storm. Virginia has the ideal combination of a strong state transportation agency, uncontested local control over land use and a clueless public officialdom to ensure a dysfunctional road and rail system for years to come.

 

June 21: Death and Taxes. Your tax dollars at work: More Americans have died in traffic accidents than in all wars in U.S. history. Rather than subsidizing our automobile dependency, we should be taxing it.

 

June 7: Self Delusion and Fraud. Megaprojects like the Springfield interchange and Woodrow Wilson Bridge are monuments to futility. They cannot improve mobility in the face of dysfunctional human settlement patterns.

 

May 24: Where the Jobs Are. Despite attention given to fast-growing counties on the edge of the National Capital New Urban Region, 94 percent of new office space built in the Virginia portion is within 20 miles of the urban core.

 

May 10: Were they Listening? Or Was it Just Luck? Nah, they weren't listening. Still, the inability of the General Assembly to raise taxes for transportation gives Virginia one more chance to get things right.

 

April 26: Yes, but... That sums up the response to my recent arguments for Fundamental Change. Trouble is, any compromise with "Business As Usual" condemns Virginia to entropy and decay.

 

March 29: An Open Letter. While caterwauling about the budget and tax "reform", the General Assembly has avoided addressing the fundamental issues. To initiate real change, here's where we need to start.

 

March 15: Tax Deform. So-called reform that "expands the tax base" sounds like a nice way to pay for public services. But growth in Virginia today is so dysfunctional that it also drives up the cost of government.

 

March 1: Delusional Thinking. Politicians in Richmond are peddling the fantasy that raising taxes and building more roads will ameliorate traffic congestion. Wrong. Higher taxes will just perpetuate the Business As Usual practices that got us in the mess we're in.

 

February 16: The Shape of Richmond's Future. 

Without fundamental change, the long-term outlook for the Richmond New Urban Region is grim: traffic gridlock, "sub"urban decay, escalating cost of government services, and more.

 

February 2: No Context. The Washington Post could reforest the Amazon with the paper it's wasted on transportation issues. Without illuminating the underlying causes of gridlock, the stories are worse than useless.

 

January 19: Clueless. Far from illuminating the causes of traffic congestion, the Washington Post editorial page last year perpetuated the myths that sustain Business As Usual.

 

January 4: Rail-to-Dulles Realities. Running a rail line to Dulles Airport could be a great idea -- if planners cluster the right kind of development around the rail stations. Otherwise, it's just business as usual.

 

- 2003 -

 

December 15: Summing Up. Ed Risse boils down a year's worth of columns into five pithy tenets about how human settlement patterns shape the future of development in the Washington-Baltimore New Urban Region.

 

December 1: A Yard Where Johnny Can Run and Play. American families have been sold on the idea that kids need big yards to play in. In reality, large-lot development makes inaccessible many of the amenities required for a healthy, happy childhood.

 

November 17: Slow Growth Isn't Smart. Many elected officials tout "slow growth" as a remedy for the ills generated by dysfunctional human settlement patterns. But it's a hopeless mishmash of an ideology.

 

November 3: Fire and Flood. Much of the damage from natural disasters like Isabel is entirely preventable. Rather than subsidized scattered habitation in exposed locations, public policy should cluster people in areas that can be protected efficiently.  

 

October 20: The Myths that Blind Us. To solve many the most pressing problems of contemporary society, citizens must abandon fallacious beliefs that guide their everyday actions and perpetuate dysfunctional human settlement patterns.

 

September 25: Scatteration. Virginia's Countryside is dying the death of a thousand small cuts. Scattered urban land uses are eroding the foundation for a sustainable future. 

 

September 8: Wild Abandonment. A short-term focus causes developers,  consumers and municipal governments to abandon places that could become high-quality, well-located places to live, work and seek services.  

 

August 25: Commuter Tax? Yes! A commuter tax is a great idea -- but only if it incentivizes commuters, employers and municipalities to create communities with a balance of jobs and housing.

 

August 11: Where is Northern Virginia? There are multiple definitions of the subregion known as Northern Virginia. Informed discussion is difficult if you don't know which one you're using.

 

July 14: The Housing Dilemma. Most people want affordable, accessible housing for all Americans -- as long as the poor don't live near them. The current governance structure is incapable of solving the problem.

 

June 30: Access and Mobility. There will never be enough money or transport facilities to ward off traffic congestion without fundamental change in human settlement patterns.

 

May 26: Beyond The Clear Edge. The best way to preserve Virginia farms, forestry and rural landscapes from destruction is to change the tax policies that encourage scattered development.

 

March 24: Three Questions. Oblivious to the decisive role of human settlement patterns, the United States has made itself dependent upon foreign oil and blunders through the reconstruction of Middle Eastern nation states.

 

March 17: Fiddling Around. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Virginia's legislators diddle while the state and its regions sink into dysfunctional governance. Only informed citizens can hold them accountable.

 

March 3: Silver Lining. Smart growth initiatives were toast in 2003. If itís any consolation, they wouldnít have worked anyway -- and legislative defeat may set the stage for electoral victory this fall.

 

February 17: Affordable, But No Bargain. "Affordable" housing is often a code word for opening up cheap land for development. But home owners pay a price for the perpetuation of dysfunctional human settlement patterns.

 

February 3: A Home for Homeland Security. The search for a Homeland Security HQ sheds new light on the ideal locations for airports, transit and public facilities within the Washington New Urban Region.  

 

January 16: Smoke and Shadows. Rather than edify the public about the dynamics behind Northern Virginia's transportation congestion, The Washington Post obscured the causes and touted harmful solutions.

 

- 2002 -

 

December 23, 2002: Too Little, Too Late. Governor Warner's proposal to link transportation and land use planning might have made a difference -- 30 years ago. Now, far more radical measures are called for.

 

December 2, 2002: Wrong Solution, Wrong Problem. Since the sales tax referendum went down to defeat, government officials have started lobbying for more federal transportation funds. But more money will only make matters worse.  

 

November 25, 2002: Whatís Next? The defeat of the taxes-for-roads referenda was a triumph for common sense. Now comes the hard part: deep reform of government, taxes and land use.

                                                                 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information

SYNERGY/Planning, Inc.

spirisse@aol.com

Voice (540) 351-1701

www.synergy-

     planninginc.com


124 Derby Way

Suite 100
Warrenton, VA           20186-3031


Backgrounders

The Role of Municipal Planning in Creating Dysfunctional Human Settlement Patterns (23 January, 2002)

Affordable, But No Bargain: "Affordable" housing is often a code word for opening up cheap land for development. But home owners pay a price for the perpetuation of dysfunctional human settlement patterns. (15 June, 2001)

 

Anatomy of a Bottleneck: The U.S. Route 29/Interstate 66 Interchange at Gainesville, Va. (14 August, 2002)

 

Five Critical Realities that Shape the Future (15 December, 2003)

 

It is Time to Fundamentally Rethink METRO and Mobility in the National Capital Subregion (HTML version, 18 October, 2004)

Download PDF version (requires Adobe Acrobat)

 

Geographic Illiteracy

Americans cannot function effectively as citizens until they master the six components of their geographic surroundings. (April 12, 2005.)

 

Quantification of Land Resources and the Impact on Land Conservation Efforts (August 28, 2006.)

 

A New Metric for Citizen Well Being. Virginia never will achieve sustainable growth without an End to Politics as Usual -- which means Fundamental Change in governance structures. (Dec. 10, 2006)

 

GLOSSARY: The Online Edition. The first step in creating a sustainable society is to use words that precisely describe the world as it is. Today, we update the glossary of those words. (August 13, 2007)

 

Vocabulary  Supple- ment. Notes on the precise meanings of words used in Shape of the Future, Trilo-G and the Handbook. (August 13, 2007)

 

The Estates Matrix

 

Part I. The Morphed Estate (November 21, 2007)

 

Part II. The Estates Matrix (December 10, 2007)

 

Part III.  The Rise and Fall of Journalism (December 27, 2007)

 

Part IV. The Road Ahead (January 14, 2008)