Wednesday, August 02, 2006

So to wrap up my posting for this session, I think I am just going to give the class a review and reflect upon what has been going on in my head during this class. When I signed up for this class, I really had no clue what it was going to be like. I had some type of a knowledge for planning, but I really didn't know how to express it, because I really had no idea about it. I just knew random and general things. I have enjoyed this class. I liked being able to come to class, and learn something that I didn't know each day. But the things that I learned, weren't very hard concepts to grasp because as it has been stated, planning is some what of a common sense subject.
It was common sense, but I felt that this class made me look deeper into things, think about the infrastructure of Boone as a town, and how it works. Just how there are so many twists and turns in the process of building a structure and the point the lies within those colorful signs around town with the large "Z" on them. This class has been an exploration in understanding the many problems that planners face, and how we should go about solving them. There always seem to be one problem after the other, so a planner's work can never be fully completed, and that is perfectly OK. Everyone understands that we cannot live in a perfect world.
You know what I think, I think that agriculture land, used to grow crops on, should become a thing of the past. Yes, I know this sounds ridiculous, but I think I have a good point in this argument. My father was a farmer and I grew up helping him in the fields, my first "real" job was cross pollinating cotton, "crossing" cotton. Before that my dad payed my brother and sister and me something like a dollar and hour. Yeah, it was tuff, but I think it was a good experience. Anyway, back to this point that I am trying to make.
So, if you think about this, growing the same type of plant in rows for many rows is so unnatural. Yes, you may be growing organic vegetables or something like that, but still. There is no place in nature that you could find that happening. Farming is an invention created by man. We should be preserving that land, instead of robbing all of the nurtients from it, only to make it sterile. We cut down forests for crop land. It is becoming a problem in Brazil, where valuable rainforest is being cut down for soybeans. We should really be focusing on alternatives to traditional farming, something that would take up less space, and help us have more space. After all , a main concept in planning is utilizing space.
So I took the intro to physical geography class last Spring, and our professor asked a very good question to make a very good point. So, what about medians? Well, medians are basically large areas of grasses and a bit of vegetation that seperates one side of the interstate from the other. So, what is this importance of these medians? Well, nothing really. They are useless. When he made this point I got really interested. This is because I never even thought about how much land medians take up. There are some pretty big ones around here.
So, after he made that point, he told us that if we just planted sawgrass in the medians here in the southeast we could produce enough ethanol to support the southeast. Isn't that a really good idea? We wouldn't even have to make room for new farmland, we could make do with what we had. There would be less pollution coming from cars, and more space to do other productive things on.
I was thinking about the negative reputation that this book gives to billboards. I admit, billboards are very ugly and most of the time they don't make much sense. The only really cool billboards around this area ( well not here, but in the south) would be the South of the Border billboards, and they used to be really cool and 70's retro, but they have gotten new ones that suck. Anyway, I was thinking that people can make restrictions and do all of that, but we must face the fact that billboards are key in advertising.
So why don't we just focus on this terrible thing and turn it into a good thing. Which brings up my main point. So, I was watching the science channel the other night, and it was one of those shows about new discoveries. Ok, get this, It was a billboard made of water. It was really cool, It works by shooting out a sheet of tiny, tiny microparticles of water that a picture is projected on. The water particles are so small, they don't even get you wet if you walk through the picture. If people keep on thinking like this, imagine what other types of alternatives to billboards we could produce.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On the subject of environmental planning, I think that it is very important that planners as well as all others need to be aware of the environment and understand the impacts that we have on the environment. After all, the environment it what has made this possible. This, meaning, mankind and our toys and our way of life. I wish that more people would respect our environment and try to take better care of it. Even though we have been warned about the negative impacts we have brought on, what will it take for people to change their lifestyles? Even as I look out my window I see huge gas-guzzling pick-up trucks, litter spread about the ground, many lights, and what looks to be the taming of nature by way of a park. A park in the middle of a sea of concrete and asphalt. Like a zoo, and the trees and rocks and the stream, those are like the animals. People go to this place to get away from the polluted modern life.
I like the fact that some people have actually addressed this problem and taken it to the next level by proposing things like the Clean Air Act and forming organizations. I mean, I can sit here and bitch about what is wrong with this world, but up until the point that I actually take action and do something to change it, it is really pointless to bitch. Taking action is the only choice we have to really make impacts and help bring our planet to stable condition.