Featuring special guest speaker Don Weden, Retired Principal Planner, County of Santa Clara
Our Urban Evolution Has Been Interrupted – Temporarily
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Santa Clara County was on a seemingly inevitable course toward becoming a more urban place – an urban/suburban hybrid, actually. Areas of taller, denser development were emerging within the Valley’s predominantly suburban, lower density, automobile-dependent landscape.
We were on a trajectory toward a much larger population, with people living and working in closer proximity to one another and relying more on shared public and private transportation systems to meet their mobility needs.
But, social distancing, mandated by efforts to prevent the spread of the virus, brought some of that momentum toward urbanism to an abrupt halt and/or raised questions about its future.
What Future(s) Should We Be Preparing For?
As we work to bring the virus under control and rebuild damaged parts of our economy, we should be asking ourselves questions such as:
“What should our cities be like in the future once the pandemic has passed and our economy has rebounded?”
While it’s currently difficult to predict specific outcomes, we can begin thinking about a range of possible futures and their potential impacts and implications for our county and its cities.
We can begin to ask ourselves questions, such as “What are ….
- The major factors and forces that may shape our post-pandemic future?
- Some alternative scenarios as to what our cities could be like?
- Some things we can do to enable our cities to thrive – socially, economically, and environmentally – regardless of which future scenario actually comes to pass?
About Don Weden:
Don Weden was the Principal Planner for the Comprehensive Planning Section of the Santa Clara County Planning Office for many years prior to his retirement.
During his 34 years with Santa Clara County Planning, he managed a wide array of planning studies, including the last comprehensive revision of the County’s General Plan. Since his retirement, he has taken on the role of an unpaid community advisor and educator.
Through his many PowerPoint presentations he has encouraged local communities to prepare for the significant changes, challenges, and opportunities that will be coming our way in the years ahead – and that will greatly impact our lives and those of our children and future generations.
Among his various presentations have been “Cities for All Ages,” “Winds of Change,” and “Envisioning Santa Clara County 3.0.”
In 2013, he was inducted into the Planner Emeritus Network of the California Chapter of the American Planning Association.