Envisioning the future – with Legos

June 18, 2013 

I do a lot of stuff, but this was different.

I traveled to the Charlotte Convention Center where more than 400 participants from 14 counties in the Carolinas gathered for a one-day “visioning” exercise designated to discuss, analyze and develop alternative growth options for the region.

We were assigned to tables with diverse groups of 10. Participants were from public, private and non-profit sectors. There were 34 of us from Lancaster County. Our goal was to plot where possible future growth should go, transportation corridors, jobs and housing by the year 2050.

Our tools were a 6-foot-square map of the region at each table, Lego bricks with which to allocate residential densities, and yarn to define new transportation, transit corridors and green space. Our goals were to allocate the projected growth of 1.8 million new residents and 863,000 new jobs by the year 2050.

All the Lego’s had to be placed on the map before the end of the exercise. One red Lego brick represented about 1,700 households and one yellow Lego brick represented 1,500 jobs.

In 2050 we want more green space, more jobs, “walkability” to jobs as well as more restaurants and shopping, road improvements, fewer cars, more rail transit and more trails for biking, hiking and walking.

Creating a culture of environmental stewardship: that is my wish for 2050.

Email Pat at pateudy09@carolina.rr.com.

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