Monday, February 13, 2006

One Year of UNplanning

A glance at my Blogger homepage this past week informs me that I have officially been at this for over one year now. Over the past twelve months I have explored a variety of subjects (mostly) related to the role of energy in the planning sector. Some were drawn from personal experience and others from research. My former employer was the subject of a number of these postings. Current events provided subject matter for the rest.

Here is a rundown of the best UNplanning posts of the past year:

Behind the Journal – This was my inaugural post and still a good explanation on why I am blogging. Read the following posting to find out where I came up with the term UNplanning.

A couple posts looked at how common elements in the built environment will fare in the coming energy crunch. Mauled in America took a look inside the future of the shopping mall. MegaChurched explored what could happen to one of those massive one-stop churching facilities in an energy deprived world.

Food and agriculture was a frequent subject for me to write on. Part of this came from being a planner in an agricultural county and part of this came from my interest on how the food I eat gets to my plate. Our Agricultural Future, Protecting the Food Supply, Passport Cuisine, and That Food Problem all looked at the real hard issue of keeping the Human Race fed over the next several decades. I even took the time to examine an agricultural proposal with little or no chance of success in a low energy world, the Vertical Farm.

Sometimes I would comment on the absurd nature of what gets built today. While I don’t fancy myself as the next J.H Kunstler, some examples of idiotic planning and development need to be ridiculed. The increasing prevalence of the RV Garage and the Suburban High-rise are a good examples of this. Mindless road construction is another. Other times I take on whole urban areas such as Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans or some of California’s massive New Town developments. I even picked apart some of those so-called Eco-sensitive communities in my Greenwashing post.

Other times I would suggest solutions for the future. Like ruralization. Or a plan that could be crafted for use during an energy emergency (given the reluctance of many agencies to plan ahead or even consider energy in the first place). Some ideas were broad in scope covering an entire region or a particular town. Others were more modest in scope, such as my proposal to retrofit a Wal-Mart into post-peak urban farm, advice for communities not to forget the details, suggestions on how renters could save energy or how we could all just think smaller.

A few posts got me some serious recognition from others out there interested in the future of our world as it pertains to energy. Natural Gas[p], a Conversation with an Energy Insider is one of my favorites and one of my most linked to postings. So was the infamous Conversation with Denial, also known as "how my planning director canceled the energy crisis". Honorable mentions also go to my Peak Oil inspired review of children’s movies and my take on the important events of 2006.

Finally, some posts looked at the planning process itself and the issues most pressing along those lines, such as the importance of transportation. Others contemplated included massive infrastructure plans with no future, Governors without a clue and Oregon’s examination of its own planning process.

What a year it has been. There have been a lot of good posts made and your suggestions, comments and ideas have been most helpful and appreciated, blogspam not withstanding. Sometimes maintaining this Journal has been an enjoyable and enlightening task. Other times it has been a royal pain. Once or twice I thought I would just chuck this blogging altogether and move onto something else. But I didn’t.

Thanks for reading and here’s to another year of (not too) eventful blogging!


Blogger crz53 said...

Congrats on the "Birthday". I enjoy reading your blog, so keep it up. The Wal-Mart-to-farm conversion post was absolute genius. I have a feeling that that's the only sort of thinking that can save the suburbs.
- Mike Lorenz

2/14/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger monkeygrinder said...

Good work. Keep it up.

2/17/2006 12:23 AM  
Blogger Liz Logan said...

Congratulations UNPlanner! You're doing a great job. Thanks for the "highlights" post.

2/17/2006 5:28 AM  

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