Are We There Yet?
Sitting at home last night watching the Phillies I saw a commercial that got me thinking, not about the car they were trying to sell, but rather about the state of the our community. It was that commercial with the little kids all asking the age-old question, “Are we there yet?” Of course, you think they are asking about the end of a trip, but in reality they’re asking about the automobile technology. And that’s the part that got me thinking– are we really “there” yet in terms of planning the future of the Lehigh Valley?
I would have to say no, we’re not “there” yet. Certainly we’re doing great work among the many organizations involved in economic development, city planning, open space preservation, provision of affordable housing, assisting people in finding jobs or starting their own businesses. But are we really “there” yet? No, we still have quite a ways to go before we can confidently say we have a solid plan in place to handle the inevitable population growth that will hit in the next 20 years– more than 144,000 according to the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission. With the increased number of people comes increased demand for housing, increased traffic, increased demand for jobs. Not all of this is bad, don’t get me wrong, but we absolutely must plan for a sustainable future for this community. Otherwise, we’ll drown in the overwhelming needs and lack of resources to provide for those needs.
That is why the Envision Lehigh Valley project is so timely and so necessary. We have been given an opportunity to create a regional sustainability plan for the entire Lehigh Valley. And the best part is that everything is driven by public input. Any regional plan or update to the Comprehensive Plan… The Lehigh Valley 2030 that will come out of the Envision Lehigh Valley project by 2014 will be generated based upon input gathered from those who experience the Lehigh Valley daily.
So, are we “there” yet? No, not yet. But the key word is yet. We can get “there” and we must do it together as a region.Want to get involved? Visit www.envisionlehighvalley.com to find out how