Greater/Regional Community Motivation - News and Thought

With the new focus on the notion of "community motive" in November, 2012 the blog here is shifting, as the title says to:  "Greater/Regional Community Motivation - News and Thought"

The finding and cataloging of news reports that demonstrate the existence of "community motive" at many scales has continued. It is posted to Twitter  Here's what it looks like:

News items are also posted to Delicious A tool that can be used to keep up these and other sources is Google Reader. There are other readers, but Google is the one I use to follow thirty blogs, websites and keyword searches. For the reader feed link: RSS feed  Reader looks like this:

Both Twitter and Reader are efficient in that you can go to the articles that by headline 

Another sharing option is Google+ where there is a fledgling "Community Motive" Community.

For LinkedIn there is Community Motive - Regional/Greater Communities with 346 members. It had been Regional and Intergovernmental Planning. The name change did not lead to people quitting.

So where's the thought? - 

Here's a post-Sandy comment to The Burning Platform from November 1, 201

It's a fantasy that, in the built environment, things last forever and no maintenance is required. Any window is at risk of being broken.

A broader view is to note that, in the built environment, anything of value has some maintenance costs. The higher the value, the higher the maintenance costs. Even the dumb gold we've taken from the earth has high maintenance costs due to the security required.

Cities are built environments of high value because of the centuries of public infrastructure investment which create the real estate value for intensive development. You can't do much on a lot served by a well and a septic tank, and on a country road. Cost might be lower, but work opportunites and markets are much thinner, if they exist at all. City infrastructure is high maintenance. Skimp on it or take it away and the value deteriorates rapidly. Suburban infrastructure may be newer and have less maintenance, but such jurisdictions to not have local employment in basic industries. The tax base can be 90% residential. Service perpetuation depends upon resident incomes being high enough to be able to pay the taxes that are needed to provide their quality of life: schools, fire departments, prompt EMT response for heart-attacks, libraries, dog parks, etc. These jobs are where infrastructure supports a high density of intensive economic activity. 

The highest value in cities, towns and counties, is the law-abiding nature of its residents who are committed to the perpetuation of their community for generations. This is the "community motive" which long preceded the lesser "profit motive," which can only emerge in relatively safe and stable communities.

The investments of the fathers and mothers serve the current populations, just as the sins of the fathers can affect the third and fourth generations.  Is deferred maintenance a sin?

The coastal cities now face some clear challenges. The Dutch, who have much territory below sea level, and receive water flow from inland sources, are working to beef up their water and storm management skills and infrastructure. They were stuck by the problems experienced in New Orleans and have gone there to learn and assist in the rebuilding so as to be able to manage water in storm events. The incoming water from the ocean stops drainage from the tributaries and rivers, increasing inland flooding.

These are problems the private sector is going to solve, but is a market for their services. No trading algo is going to solve this for it takes real, long term capital investment and maintenance in perpetuity.

Efforts to create new cities on vacant land have been failures. The best locations were found by the original settlers, regardless of the period. Wiser folk built back from the waterfront and those up close, built with rebuilding in mind. Our ancestors were smarter about these things as they lived closer to the land. Architecture was insync with the environmental variations.

Big choices lie ahead. Private homeowner associations won't  be able to address this. Nature needs to be respected. Its bigger than the elephant in the room.

Windows get broken. Your maintenance budget should anticipate that. 

All life is risk management. Communities recognize and cooperate to mitigate the impact of events for their own perpetuation. Economics is involved, but not the prime motivator. Our evolutionary driver is "community motive," since that is how problems are solved; freedom established and maintained.

With Sandy, like during 9-11, the greater community comes to the aid of those communities which have suffered. It is mutual aid on a large scale. Such provisions come out of the wisdom of generations that the unexpected can happen and that no area can be prepared for everything. Life has redundancy built in.

Tom Christoffel