Tag Archives: Mark David Major

Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 5

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Rail Transit

41. Density makes rail transit viable, not the other way around.

42.  If you want rail transit tomorrow, then have the courage to densify today.

43. Rail transit that does not serve large populations most in need on a day-to-day basis is a financial boondoggle. Let the buyer beware.

On Suburban Sprawl

44. Suburban sprawl became a cancerous infection on the American landscape after the Euclid decision in 1926. It is causality, not coincidence.

45. Rome was not built in a day. Suburban sprawl can be designed in about 30 minutes.

46. When it comes to suburban sprawl, it is a non sequitur to say the customer is always right.

47. False pretenses sell suburban sprawl in situations that offer little or no choice. It is a mirage.

On Professionals

48. “The first thing we do (is) kill all the lawyers.” However, half will do.

49. Architects and planners are notorious for making your bed but never lying in it.

On Money

50. You get what you pay for… as long as what you pay for is what you are really getting.

The Issue 6 cometh soon!

Share the knowledge!
Share

Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 4

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Design

31. Turning movements are about going in circles. Humans are about moving forward in a straight line.

32. The best planning has everything to do with design and nothing to do with bureaucracy or politics.

33. Signage supplements good design and planning. It can never replace it.

34. Front porches have nothing to do with the house and everything to do with the street.

35. All that floats melts in the air.

On Institutions

36. There is a reason why ‘institution’ is a synonym for asylum.

37. Never institute mediocrity in pursuit of consensus. Always pursue excellence in defiance of institutions.

38. Objective science attracts grants. Grants attract subjective science. Always be wary of the difference.

39. Revolution quickens when evolution slackens.

On Developers

40. Profiteering on land value is the mashed potatoes for the developer and cost savings is only the gravy. Either way, mashed potatoes still taste great.

The Issue 5 cometh soon!

Share the knowledge!
Share

Poor Richard’s Almanac for Planners | Issue 2

Courteous Reader,

I am tempted to win your favor by declaring I wrote this Almanac for Planners solely for the public good. However, this is insincere and you are too wise for the deception of this pretense. The fact is I am excessively poor and, unfortunately, excessively wifeless. To address both problems, I must begin to make some profit since every potential wife always asks, “What kind of car do you drive?” I always have to reply, “I walk”, and the potential wife thinks I am a deviant.

Indeed, this motive would have been enough to write this Almanac many years ago except for the overwhelming desire of the public and professionals to only hear what they want to hear and my overwhelming desire to secure a salary. I am now of sufficient age to no longer care about telling people what they want to hear but only about what they need to know. This has freed me to write this Almanac for Planners in increments of ten cause it worked for Moses and the Almighty. Hopefully, my Almanac gains your likes and retweets as a means of demonstrating the usefulness of my efforts but also your charity to this poor Friend and Servant,

Richard

On Cities

11. Cities are vibrant because its residents are alive. Cemeteries are tranquil because its residents are dead. Do not ever confuse the two.

12. People are alive, cars are not. Always build your cities for the living and never for those things that are not.

13. Nothing about cities is ideal, that is what makes them so fascinating.

On Planners

14. A planner who leads never worries about being loved. A planner who worries about being loved never leads.

15. 19th century land speculators were a lot smarter than you think and 20th century urban planners were lot dumber than they pretend.

16. Life is fast enough without urban planners trying to speed things up.

On NIMBYism

17. NIMBY (Not in My Backyard) is polite terminology for “I’ve got mine, Jack, so screw you.”

18. Environmentalism is often the wolf of NIMBYism masquerading in sheep’s clothing.

19. Highly praise altruistic motives but have the courage to condemn selfish ones for what they really are.

On Urban Space
20. Space flows, never congests.

The Issue 3 cometh soon!

Share the knowledge!
Share

Preparing Our Youngest Generation for the Suburban Lifestyle… or Life in Prison (either or)

What is this? A Department of Homeland Security/CIA intelligence gathering facility? A minimum security prison to house white-collar/Wall Street felons? No, it is worse. It is an elementary school in a Florida county! This is urban planning and design failing on an epic scale. 1) Built adjacent to a divided surface highway heavily used by semi-trucks. 2) Location? Wrong, wrong, wrong. 3) There are no sidewalks; 4) The school is not within walking distance of much of anything anyway so its urban functioning is completely dependent upon the automobile/school buses; 5) Two perimeter rings of fencing, one to keep the ‘bad people’ out and one to keep the children out of the retention ponds or wandering into the road; 6) When you see a public building with this much fencing, someone (i.e. the public officials) is really afraid of being sued for the most improbable of probabilities but only doing the minimum necessary in terms of cost (as opposed to building the school in the right location in the first place); 7) No visible windows; 8) I attended a high school that used the same plans for a prison in Indiana and this is much worse; and, 9) This is just one example of the mentality that builds schools throughout this county and many others in the State of Florida. However, the design of this school does multitask. It prepares our youngest generation for a future suburban life behind the walls of their gated communities… or their future life in prison. The mentality that builds schools like this one for our children is truly absurd and FUBAR.

Share the knowledge!
Share

The American Pyramids

IMG_0031Driving down I-95 along the Atlantic Coast to CNU 20 in West Palm Beach last month, there was nothing so jarring as coming upon these landfill mountains in the flat Floridian landscape. It’s one thing to come across these artificial hills of filth in the river bluffs along the Mississippi River or other Midwestern rivers, where the hilly topography affords some aesthetic opportunity for these behemoths to blend into the natural landscape (putting aside the issues of any potential environmental impact arising from a mountain of buried garbage). It’s another thing to find them in a landscape no more than a few feet above sea level. These are the American Pyramids, a testament to our culture of mass consumption. The Egyptians built their pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and monuments to the gods. In America, we build our pyramids as tombs for our refuse; monuments to what we consume and mostly defecate.

Share the knowledge!
Share