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All are but parts of one stupendous whole.
Alexander Pope

The 5 Principles: Connectivity


Connectivity: A Social Ecosystem

What does Community Heritage Group mean by "multi-dimensional" instead of "linear" planning? Town planning is often conducted on a linear axis, meaning that we assume X will equal Y (for instance, a new factory will result in 100 jobs). Thatís typical of most growth conversations, because itís easier to demonstrate cause-and-effect in one-dimensional, relatively uncomplicated terms. While itís true, in a purely linear sense, that X may equal Y, other unplanned-for results can also follow, results that are sometimes not in the communityís best interest.

For example: That new factory promising 100 jobs may discharge pollutants into a stream, killing fish and plants, destroying a well-loved swimming hole, and incurring unanticipated cleanup costs. The industry may change traffic patterns and create a need for new street lights, wider roads, and pedestrian crossings. The wider road, to follow the dominos, may inhibit walking, result in additional automobile exhaust run-off into a city park, or affect storm drainage. And those 100 jobs? Make sure itís not an economic shell game Ė simply eliminating positions elsewhere and moving them to the new site.

Bottom Line: Consider connections from multiple perspectives Ė social, economic, environmental, cultural, and regional. Few community actions are as simple and benign as they appear. Towns can create place-based surveys, and then research and weigh how decisions will affect every component on the list of indicators.

CONNECTIVITY AND COMMUNITY HERITAGE GROUP: All CHG Programs emphasize the need to consider choices holistically, not just one-dimensionally. We encourage every community to develop its own place-based survey; CHG can help plan and implement this tool, as well as interpret its findings.

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