City Planners Call for Nationwide Urban and Regional Development Plan for Quality Communities: Commitment Sought during the April 2009 National American City Quality Month

Article excerpt

The nation's city planning directors are asking public and private sector leaders to commit to a Better Quality Communities program and to the preparation, adoption and implementation of a Nationwide Urban and Regional Development Plan.

The plan would be a comprehensive and coordinated public and private sector commitment for better quality city planning, re-development and development of the nation's cities and surrounding regions to accommodate the U.S. Census projected population growth of 34.5 million by the year 2020 and 100 million within 20 to 30 years.

The plan would guide the billions of dollars of investments required while insuring taxpayers receive a real financial return on their investment just like a private sector investment and immediately create millions of jobs.

"We need higher quality, smarter, greener and sustainable land use patterns and densities, housing, buildings, public transportation, infrastructure, public open spaces, agriculture, industry, renewable energy, environmental protection, and urban design and beautification that reduces municipal operating costs and property taxes and improves the health and well-being of all citizens," according to Gerald R. Mylroie, AICP, American City Planning Directors' Council chairman.

No such nationwide plan exists now. Business as usual policies that continue urban sprawl and higher municipal operating expenses and property taxes are unacceptable. Physical development planning policies and development must be viewed differently. Issues like land use, energy source and conservation, school locations, building codes, transportation and housing must be linked for more effective and efficient planning and management. A better coordinated intergovernmental and private sector approach and commitment is required now.

City planners are asking citizens to "Get involved and support planning and action for better quality communities" during the 21st annual April 2009 National American City Quality Month program sponsored by NLC, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, American City Planning Directors' Council/American City Quality Foundation, Urban Land Institute, National Building Museum, Partners for Livable Places, City Planning and Management Division of the American Planning Association, American Public Transportation Association, Mayors' Institute on City Design, American Society of Landscape Architects, Association of Pedestrian & Bicycle Professionals and Eco-Home Network. …