Revised Writings by City Planner Pete Pointner

The new fourth edition of “Readings in Urban Planning and Design” has been expanded with 13 new papers. It is now a compendium of 40 published and 11 unpublished papers with over 200 images. This free e-book is available at 


Each of these papers is an elaboration on the content of the chapters of my book “Planning Connections – Human, Natural and Man Made”. These readings complete the proposed study plan for a college level course in urban planning and design described on my blog site:

For more information on the book and author see www.petepointner.com. My purpose is to offer a practical resource on environmentally based planning and context sensitive design to lay persons, students and younger professionals involved in planning, design and development decisions. Please share this reference.

Pete Pointner


The Legacy Trail - Sarasota, Florida


Legacy Trail

The Legacy Trail is the regional backbone of a recreational and nature based trail system connecting communities across Sarasota County and stretching into neighboring Charlotte County.
The Legacy Trail offers several areas to stop, rest, learn about its history or just enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the trail. The rest stops include seven trailheads which offer access points with free parking.
In addition to the trailheads, users will find rest station areas approximately every mile that offer places to sit and relax. 

Trailhead Locations

The Legacy Trail offers several areas to stop, rest, learn about its history or just enjoy the natural beauty surrounding the trail. The rest stops include seven trailheads which offer access points with free parking.
The trailheads are located at:

Legacy Trailhead Maps


Little Bit of History

​On March 28, 2008, Sarasota County opened the largest public recreation project ever constructed in the area, The Legacy Trail. Totaling more than 10 miles in length the trail runs from just south of the city of Sarasota to Venice following the former CSX railroad corridor.
Purchased through a partnership between Sarasota County and the Trust for Public Land in December 2004 for $11.75 million, The Legacy Trail is the backbone of network of trails planned in Sarasota County.
The Legacy Trail is open from dawn to dusk with the rules for using the trail posted at various locations as well as at each trailhead entrance point.

Trail Hours and Rules

Open year round from 6 a.m. - dusk.

Final Report


Report Appendices


Legacy Trail Documents


The Secret’s Out!

​The secret’s out – Legacy Trail was named as a finalist in the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s Reader’s Choice awards for the Best Kept Local Secret.

The Legacy Trail

It Starts in Parks

Legacy Trail Slide Show


Something is Going To Get You, But it Probably Is Not Terrorism

Your odds of dying in a terrorist attack are still far, far lower than dying from just about anything else.

In the last five years, the odds of an American being killed in a terrorist attack have been about 1 in 20 million (that's including both domestic attacks and overseas attacks). As the chart above from the Economist shows, that's considerably smaller than the risk of dying from many other things, from post-surgery complications to ordinary gun violence to lightning.
That said, terrorist attacks obviously loom much larger in our collective consciousness — not least because they're designed to horrify. So, understandably, they get much more attention.
Click to read the full article:
Further reading:
--The Global Terrorism Database is a useful searchable site that lets you search and track terrorism attacks around the world since 1970.


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Click for our Christmas Newsletter

Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men (and Women). 


Richard Haas Murals in Homewood, Illinois

In addition to a unique and quaint downtown area, Homewood now boasts the largest collection of Richard Haas murals anywhere in the world. Haas, a world-renowned painter specializing in large, illusion murals, was first invited to Homewood in the early 1980’s. Since that time, Hass has finished 14 murals and is scheduled to complete his final mural in the fall of 2014.

The time-lapse video above captures the magic of one of his recent murals being created. “Homewood has a special place in my 35 years of doing public work,” said Haas. “This project has allowed me to expand my work in many ways. In Homewood, I was given the freedom to design and execute a new series of works that tells an even larger story, not only about Homewood’s history but about the region in general. Homewood now has the largest concentration of my works in one area and I hope people will discover and enjoy these works for a long time to come.” “Homewood is a great home for the arts,” said Homewood Mayor Richard Hofeld. “We sought Richard out specifically for his realistic style as well as his artistic and history vision. Residents have given us very positive feedback about seeing the blank canvas of the side of a building become transformed into a work of art.”

These murals are very interesting.  I have viewed them and they really catch your attention.

3D Murals Painted on the Sides of Buildings

3D murals painted on the sides of buildings by trompe l'oeil (trick-of-the-eye) artist John Pugh:

Main Street, Los Gatos, California. Even the woman 

peering into the ruin is part of the mural.

Taylor Hall, California State University, Chico, California. 

The Doric-style columns are actually nothing but paint.


This mural at the Cafe Trompe L'oeil, San Jose, California, 
is entitled "Art Imitating Life Imitating Art Imitating Life."
This customer doesn't leave at closing time. And, there 
is no doorway or stairs to go through or climb... and the statue never needs dusting.


Twenty-nine Palms, California. Valentine the bull and a patient buzzard are waiting for the artist to awake. No way... yep, way. This is all painting. Check along the base of the wall and you can see the seam between the vertical wall and the paved parking lot. How real can it get. Just outstanding.

Click to go to the web page:


High Property Taxes

Rate - Percent of Value
Interesting article of the impact of high property taxes in the southern suburbs of Chicago.

"The Average Rates:

“Confiscatory” is not an exaggeration of some of the rates common in many of these communities. Rates now average 5.23% per year of a the market value of homes in south suburban communities, far more than mortgage interest which today would typically be no more than four percent for a 20%-down, fixed 30-year mortgage. Those tax rates are about 3.3 times higher than the national average effective property tax rate for homes (about 1.5%, in urban areas), as reported in this year’s annual report of Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence. (Rural areas have lower rates.)"

Click to read the article.



Happy Thanksgiving


The video below from WKRP Cincinnati video on Thanksgiving.  No turkeys were harmed in this video.

WKRP "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly ...

Nov 24, 2011 - Uploaded by Epic Houston
WKRP "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly"Thanksgiving.

WKRP Thanksgiving Turkey Drop - YouTube

Oct 13, 2014 - Uploaded by Cuchulainn's Picks
Les Nessman discovers that his station's Thanksgiving promotion just isn't going to fly. For more info ...

Watch WKRP in Cincinnati Online - Turkeys Away | Hulu


Sep 20, 2007
Stream WKRP in Cincinnati season 1, episode 7 instantly. ... This one website, wetpaint, showed 12 Thanksgiving Day episodes, and the  ...

WKRP "Turkey's Away" - YouTube

Nov 24, 2011 - Uploaded by whoohaaa1000
WKRP "Turkey's Away" .... This was a great old Thanksgivingshow. .... WKRP "As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly" Thanksgiving  ...

WKRP in Cincinnati Full Episode (Turkeys Away) - IMDb


Watch the latest WKRP in Cincinnati Full Episode (Turkeys Away) on IMDb.