Elite portions of the Bay Area (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Pleasanton, and Marin County) adopt many leading-edge green policies but stumble when it comes to accommodating regional population growth. These areas fear the impacts of growth within their own boundaries and have difficulty empathizing with regional objectives. Their plodding multi-year comprehensive plan processes yield unimaginative results hampered by small and skewed public input.
"Design sprints" (week-long intensive problem-solving and brainstorming) and high-tech participatory democracy (a la California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsome's book Citizenville) can shrink 48-month public processes down to one week, with more innovative outcomes, higher impact mitigation, richer quantitative analyses, and increased public participation, all at much lower cost.
The impasse is passionate and somewhat "religious" in nature. Both the pro regional climate protection and pro slow-growth sides perceive themselves as virtuous saviors battling the other side.
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