Wednesday, February 11, 2015

EOA-HNA: Agnostic, even Ignorant on Climate and Carbon?

It looks like the City's released a draft version of the final report for the Jobs and Housing project - formally called the "Economic Opportunities Analysis and Housing Needs Analysis" or EOA-HNA.
EOA-HNA draft Report - Jan 2015
(graph added from CO2 Now)
But if you read it, there's one glaring, giant omission.

Words like "carbon," "greenhouse"/"green house," and "climate" are nowhere to be found. A text search doesn't turn up a single instance of these words.

This is a document that
is a key part of the City’s planning efforts to accommodate population and employment growth over the 2015 to 2035 period.
Consistently, though, the whole process has been guided by 20th century assumptions on growth and carbon emissions. In fact, there has been a deliberate effort to bracket carbon and climate change as "potential impacts" of uncertain consequence and limited relevance. It's relegated to a footnote in an appendix, basically.

Climate Change: There's a consensus,
but we're not actually going to factor it into our analysis
or try to do anything about it.
That means we won't assess new development in terms of carbon impact or carbon footprint.

In 2035 we won't be looking at this map in quite the same way.

This is timid, largely incremental, planning and is not a serious consideration of what things will need to be like in 2035. For that vision we are still waiting.

Here are the final policy recommendations.

Housing pt 1

Housing, pt 2

Jobs, pt 1

Jobs, pt 2
It's nice to see more thought given to West Salem, but it's still very auto-centric:
Establish one or more neighborhood or convenience shopping and service centers in West Salem, to provide retail and other services to people living in West Salem.
Not enough attention is given to transportation in 2035 and underscoring the need for especially walkable development.

Until we are willing to look more closely at transportation and land-uses that serve it, which includes our voracious appetite for trip-end storage, aka parking, we will fight over other valuable public and private goods and fail to create the best Salem that we can.

It's true that "transportation" is the lens through which we look at things here, and you might think that this perspective flattens out things and yokes other stories reductively to a master narrative of "cars."

But we wouldn't be arguing over trees at the Blind School if it weren't for this.

Today: It's about Parking more than Trees

May, 2013: Like downtown,
we have a misallocation problem, not a total supply problem
Update, March 2nd

Here's Portland's Climate Action Plan.

Climate Action Plan for Comment
Chapter on Transportation - More biking


Anonymous said...

How did Salem get stuck in such a backwards parallel universe?

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a more detailed progress report from Portland. They have made some measurable progress. Just the fact that when they make a plan, they actually act on it and actually review their progress toward the goals in the plan seems so radical compared to Salem. It really does get depressing living in such an underachieving city (or is it just a town?).

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Anon - updated with clips from the new 2015 Climate Action Plan. I suspect that transportation advocates still might say it is too aspirational and lacks concrete and actionable policy detail. I'm sure BikePortland and Portland Transport will have comments soon.