Some Interesting Ideas


Some Interesting ideas

"One evening in December, after a long day working from home, Jennifer Drouin, 30, headed out to buy groceries in central Amsterdam. Once inside, she noticed new price tags. The label by the zucchini said they cost a little more than normal: 6¢ extra per kilo for their carbon footprint, 5¢ for the toll the farming takes on the land, and 4¢ to fairly pay workers. “There are all these extra costs to our daily life that normally no one would pay for, or even be aware of,” she says.

The so-called true-price initiative, operating in the store since late 2020, is one of dozens of schemes that Amsterdammers have introduced in recent months as they reassess the impact of the existing economic system. By some accounts, that system, capitalism, has its origins just a mile from the grocery store. In 1602, in a house on a narrow alley, a merchant began selling shares in the nascent Dutch East India Company. In doing so, he paved the way for the creation of the first stock exchange—and the capitalist global economy that has transformed life on earth. “Now I think we’re one of the first cities in a while to start questioning this system,” Drouin says. “Is it actually making us healthy and happy? What do we want? Is it really just economic growth?”"

Click to read the article:  https://time.com/5930093/amsterdam-doughnut-economics/

Thanks to Leigh Ann Masen for bringing this to our attention.


"Us" Versus "Them"

"Me against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, and all of us against the stranger." ­

This old proverb reflects how our tribal ancestors viewed the world. It was us against "them", who was anyone outside of our small tribal group.

The march of civilization requires us tolerate and accept the stranger. It requires civility - which requires the Golden Rule, "The principle of treating others as you want to be treated."  
It also requires fairness, the rule of law, and acceptance of others. 

In a democracy, it requires the acceptance of elected officials that we do not agree with. We must accept the will of the people who elected them. If we don't we will no longer have a democracy and will descend into chaos and anarchy and civil war.


Bastides - Planned New Towns

The Bastide towns in France were planned and built from 1200 to 1400.  Bastides enabled rulers to bring the population together so they could be controlled and defended.

They were built during a peaceful time before the Hundred Years' War and so were not fortified. After war broke out many walls were built.

Most of these towns used a grid street pattern with a central square. The photos in this post are mostely of Domme, France, a delightful town.

Star Cities


"CNN) — They're scattered all over Europe but their perfect geometrical beauty can only be fully admired when seen from above."
"Like snowflakes viewed through a magnifying glass, there's a dazzling fractal-like quality to the neat, intricate way they've been laid out -- just that we're not talking here about natural wonders.
An entirely new, rational way to design fortified settlements, the "star cities" of the 16th and 17th centuries were a jewel of the early modern era and engineered by some of the most brilliant minds of their time.
The science of building star-shaped bastion forts came into being in Italy during the Renaissance, when gunpowder and cannon rendered old medieval walls obsolete.
High, vertical walls gave way to low-lying ramparts, which offered less of a target, while wide moats, sloping earthworks and complex networks of protruding bastions would eliminate any blind spots and prevent besieging armies from coming anywhere near the ramparts."

Click to read the full article and see more photos:


USA GDP Growth


As the chart shows, the US economy has a solid growth rate. It really does not make much difference who is President or which party is in power.


Hullinger and Associates

Craig Hullinger has over 35 years of experience in city planning and economic development. He was the Director of Economic Development for Peoria, Illinois, Village Manager of Olympia Fields, University Park and Minooka, Assistant Manager of Tinley Park, Planning Director for Will County, and a Colonel (Retired) in the Marine Corps Reserve.

Planning and Development Services 
  • City Planning 
  • Economic Development
  • Tax Increment Financing
  • Developer Negotiations
  • Downtown Redevelopment 
  • Sustainable Development
  • Comprehensive Plans
  • Strategic Planning
  • Transportation Planning  
  • Land Planning
  • Military Planning


Connecting The Grid


The effort above should be made by the Sarasota Manatee MPO with the two County and municipal goverments.  The plans should be incorporated into Land Use and Transportation Plans

The maps show planned connections to improve the grid in eastern Will County south of Chicago. As the area urbanizes the "Kinks" in the grid should be "worked out", with logical connections made.

It is remarkable how little planning effort is made to improve the base road grid of a community.  A little thinking and planning can make the grid much better.  There will always be some misalignment of roads and some roads that do not connect.  A good plan should make sure that logical connections are planned and that they are developed before or when new development occurs.

Part of the reason that we do little of this is that most of us focus on our community only, with minimal thought about connections to other communities.  Or we may come up with a good connection but it fails at the next town.

Transportation planning is often focused on major road development, or on programming of funds for improvements. There is seldom anyone looking at the overall grid of a large area and coming up with logical plans for improvements over time.

The road realignment plan should be integrated with the land use plan.  And realignments at County and State lines should have special interest since their is no single entity paying much attention to these important connections. The map below shows road realignments with the land use plan for eastern Will County with the proposed third airport for Chicago. 

The map below shows the plan for connecting local roads between Illinois and Indiana south of Chicago.

Of course one of the concerns is that it will take many years for this area to develop. Will the local planners consider this when they approve a land use decision?  Often they will not and we are then left with irritating dog legs in our grid. 

To Grid Or Not To Grid, That is the Question


To Grid Or Not To Grid - That is the Question

An interesting article by city planner Pete Pointer, FAICP, ALA, ITE on the grid system in city development in the Journal of City Development.



Having grown up in the midwest I am a grid guy. There is nothing wrong with some curvilinear streets and cul de sacs to give our urban landscape a little diversity. But they should connect back into a logical grid and not just meander aimlessly. And good planning demands that cities and counties examine their grids, and prepare a plan that proposes to connect and realign roads to complete a logical grid.

More on Grids Below
  1. Grid plan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    A simple grid plan road map (Windermere, Florida). ... Perhaps the most well-knowngrid system is that spread through the colonies of the Roman Empire.
  2. Milton Keynes grid road system - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Milton Keynes grid road system is a network of national speed limit, fully landscaped routes that form the top layer of the street hierarchy for both for private ...
  3. Grid system of roads to cover length and breadth of city - The Hindu

    www.thehindu.com › Cities › Chennai
    Jun 9, 2012 – Residents of localities in all the fifteen zones not adequately covered under the grid system of roads will soon see significant improvements to ...
  4. With Council's approval, work on grid system of roads to begin ...

    www.thehindu.com › Cities › Chennai
    Apr 19, 2012 – Initiative will cover 175 km of roads in all eight zones of newly added areas.
  5. Human Transit: the power and pleasure of grids

    Feb 23, 2010 – In an ideal grid system, everyone is within walking distance of one .... in the case of well-funded, completed networks like paved roads, just ...
  6. Images for grid system of roads

       - Report images
  7. Street Grid system in cities around the country - Straight Dope ...

    35 posts - 29 authors - Aug 20, 2009
    The grid system works all the way down to Homestead where some of .... because there are also a numbered Drives, Roads & Places, which I ...
  8. Grid system of road networks.

    A description of how developers negate essential community sidewalks with arguments to make more profit.
  9. Suburban areas to get world class integrated roads - Times Of India

    articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com › Collections › World Class
    Apr 19, 2012 – CHENNAI: The extended areas of the Chennai Corporation will soon get world class civic amenities as the local body has approved Rs 182 ...
  10. How Grid Systems Promote Urbanism and Winding Streets ...

    Aug 23, 2012 – Connected street systems could be grids or could be the less rationally.... has the greatest mish-mash of a road system that I have ever seen.


Babcock Ranch - A Whole New Town - Sustainable and Solar Powered

Babcock Ranch is a planned community located in southeastern Florida. The planned new town is being developed on 17,000 acres of land. The planned community was approved as part of a public-private partnership with the State of Florida and local governments. The deal established the neighboring Babcock Ranch Preserve .

The community will be completely 
solar powered.  All homes are built to green standards and are out of the flood zone. They are hurricane resistant and all homes are connected with fiber optic cable. And it is adjacent to and integrated with an enormous open space.




Beacon of Democracy - City Upon A Hill


In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.[11]"

Ronald Reagan


Yesterday was horrible. And it makes it much harder for the US to hold ourselves up to the world as the Beacon of Democracy - A City Upon A Hill.