Rural System's

Modern Planning Concepts
for Rural Areas and Communities

Under development.

When planning creates more problems than it solves, then an alternative is needed. When many plans are needed for all of the holdings of an agency, for Rural System Tracts, for corporations and individual land ownerships, and resources for doing so are limited, a new approach is needed. There are 30 definitions of planning. Rather than another one, perhaps a synthesis and alternative approach is needed. Addressing comprehensive plans for natural resource areas (parks, forests, refuges, military areas, public wildlands, corporate lands, large private land ownerships), a new alternative is developed. "Planning" is replaced within the course by the concepts of The Trevey and a guidance system. It is built on modified general systems theory. Three modes are contrasted with other planning procedures. The course shows a new role of the computer, integrates multimedia, uses geographic information systems, and shows how computer models may be used. Not a "wildlife" system, the guidance system addresses a wide range of resources under the 5 Es, namely ecology, economics, energetics, esthetics, and enforcement.

Key topics of this planning unit, woven into the Trevey are: biodiversity, sustainability, landscape ecology, optimization, expert systems, ecosystem management, adaptive processes, alternatives to watersheds as appropriate units, alternatives to zoning, public participation, and seven types of objectives.

Presented as a practical and desirable alternative to classical planning, the guidance system concept can also be used as a means to cast light on, and critique planning. It can also be used to study policy and programs related to information systems, research priorities, public comment and approval processes, and legal issues (e.g., "taking").

No plan is better than the person for whom it was prepared.

The needs for an alternative planning system are now well known. Piecemeal planning is costly (O'Toole 19 ), environmental complexity matches economic complexity, local issues are intimately related to state, national, and global issues; and land use and other changes require immediate changes in plans, usually not forthcoming. Environmental regulations seem excessive and claims that they retard economic growth yield only long-term and difficult analyses of problems foregone, conflicts dodged, costs avoided, and alternatives required. All of these result in unexpected inefficiencies and new employment opportunities. The relationship between the environment, health, energy, and esthetic needs of a wide variety is complicated. The debates have been exaggerated and misleading. A system has been needed that takes common data, processes it in an agreed-upon way. The complexity is so great that the solutions provided, to date, are almost unpredictable. Post hoc they make sense. Efforts to "rig" similar systems to produce a desired outcome have usually failed. The complex inner-workings produce counterintuitive results (Forrester 1969).

See family planning note and expand.

See Steiner plan sketch

Last revision: February 7, 2005