Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Heartbeat of Jackson Hour

The JCDC will be guests with the Downtown Jackson Partners on WJNT News Talk 1180 AM, the “Heartbeat of Jackson”on Tuesday July 21 from 7:30 am - 8:30 am.

We will be discussing the future of our organization and how we intend to influence and assist with development and revitalization of the city. So tune in and check us out!

For more about the radio show, check out the "Heartbeak of Jackson" link.

Jacksonian Transit

When Jacksonians were polled regarding their current and desired mode of primary transportation, we found that almost 90 percent drive a car (of coarse) and the other 10 percent move about the city by car sharing, bus, bike, etc. The encouraging part is that 45% of the people said they would prefer another mode of transportation.

When we attended the Transportation Advocacy Board meeting at the Greater Jackson Chamber Partnership, we learned that there is a feasibility discussion for a future with light rail in Jackson.

So, perhaps some day the people of Jackson will have a mode of transportation that is something other than the car, but to do so, we should look at the way we are developing our city.
There is currently a rolling debate on the New York Times website which has opened the discussion for how to achieve carless cities or cities with less cars. According to Witold Rybczynsk, the density needed for mass transit feasibility and a significant drop in the need for a car is approximately 50 people per acre or around 30,000 people per square mile.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Issue - Limitless Growth and Consumption

The mid size American city, a metropolitan area that ranges from 100,000 to 1 million people, is home to nearly 30 percent of the current US population. The JCDC’s primary focus is the greater Jackson metropolitan area, which has a population of around 530,000 people, as a means to think about the future of these areas that make up 288 of the 361 metropolitan areas in the US. With the US metropolitan population growing at 3.8 percent per year, the making of a sustainable future depends on the healthy development of these regions. Currently, growth in mid size metropolitan areas suffer from the convergence of three attitudes: an implicit association of sustainability with rural and suburban types of development, faith in the power of technology to solve every problem, and a fear of cities.

To truly be capable of making proposals and projections regarding the Greater Jackson metro area, first we must grasp the issues at hand on the national scale. Research is being conducted to analyze current land use and projected growth patterns. The results are pretty shocking. The US population is currently around 30o,000,000 people with a current average density of 79.6 people per mile. Along with mapping the current land use and density we have found three projections of the population and development growth. As you can see in the graphics depicted here, we are predicted to rapidly continue to consume our countries available land and natural resources. The evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson states that to achieve maximum biodiversity the US should return to 50% developed and 50% natural, but unfortunately this is not the predicted direction.