More than 1,300 folks have “played” GamePlanMaryland since we launched it last December. It’s a sim game to help communicate the trade-offs in more sustainable land-use. If you want generous parking areas, for example, you’re likely to face greater pollution from the runoff from all the impervious surface. And it’s hard to have both quieter neighborhoods and better transit access simultaneously, since public transit is prohibitively expensive when people are spread out. With the help of the design firm MetroQuest, we wanted to show the “guns versus butter” theory of environmental planning: To gain something, you probably have to give up something. We launched the app the week that Governor O’Malley accepted “PlanMaryland” as the first growth plan for the state of Maryland toward the end of last year. We have visited every county in the state since then to work with local governments on mapping for PlanMaryland. We are also working with other state agencies so they can align their approach toward smarter growth during the coming year.
April 27, 2012
January 4, 2012
Not to be confused with Game/Set/Match, we’ve developed GamePlanMaryland to help communicate the reason we recently drafted Maryland’s first long-term plan for sustainable growth. We saw something like GamePlanMaryland developed in Chicago a couple of years ago during the Windy City’s 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan, named for its author, the urban planner Daniel Burnham. He is famous for (1.) laying out Chicago and its renowned lakefront, and (2.) the stirring quotation, “Make no small plans.”
The web tool, created by the planning web design firm Metroquest, does a nice job of graphically illustrating a core principle of land and environmental planning: That is, today’s decisions about land use have profound impacts tomorrow. (And by tomorrow, we don’t mean tomorrow morning or next week or even when Opening Day arrives. We’re talking about decades from now, which was not an easy time frame to contemplate even before smartphones and iPads reduced our collective attention span to 30 seconds.) More