Wednesday, March 7, 2007

the future of citizen-based planning

MetroQuest is a new "scenario-planning" program aimed to help communities better plan for their future by showing the eventual outcomes of today's planning decisions. It's the kind of thing that I spoke to Marilyn Praisner about a few weeks ago - making the planning process clearer and more accessible to a public that doesn't have the time to go to lots of meetings or charrettes but still wants to have a say.

So far, MetroQuest has only been implemented in Canadian cities, including Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, but it is now being introduced to some smaller American cities as well.

To get a feel for MetroQuest, check out the "scenario animator" they've created for the City of Guelph, a suburb of Toronto. (Don't laugh at the name. I have family in Guelph.) It's very, very straightforward - the program asks you six questions and creates a growth scenario from it. This tool could be indispensible in helping Montgomery County residents get a feel for our county's future.


Javier Marti said...

I am Javier, the founder of, a community of online amateur writers. We write about the future of everything, and I would like to invite you to join us and write an article on the website, perhaps "The future of urban planning" or whatever you are passionate about? It is up to you, you choose the subject.
You would get a link back when you link to your own article, if you wish.
You can even re-use some of what you have here, in the last part of the article, "your view and comments". That would save you time and still be interesting for readers.
And yes, I know you may not have the time. None of us do...;)

Failing that, if you like the project and you can help me to promote it and find writers/readers -even if you don't write- it would be great. Since we are starting, we need all and any help that you can give.
By making this valuable information available online for free, I truly believe we are helping to make the world a better place.
And you could do your bit for the world too.

Your help is appreciated, and if you let me know your contribution, you'll be rewarded appropriately in due time. If you link to us or mention us, we can link you back too.
You can even use our valuable articles on your websites, provided that you link back. Any better offer than that?! :)

Look forward to hearing from you or read your article in Trendirama! Join us writing an article!

Best regards
Javier Marti

B. Santos said...


This tool is a great find. Keep up the good work.

Bravo Zulu

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

Neat blog, I live in the Sprung too.

Have you ever heard of Among many other topics, sometimes they have posts to do with what they call "serious games," -- games that are intended to help people understand complex topics. I'm not sure if the (interesting) one you linked is among them, but if you liked that you might try checking out this search: search for serious games

That should get you to some articles about the topic.

Looking forward to more posts. It's been interesting for me to discover the little blog community around here, I'd never noticed it before finding, and then yours.