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Chip Ahlswede
Meredith Weisel

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Not-So-"Rad" Reality of Urban Planning

Gilbert is a suburb of Phoenix, that as recently as about ten years ago was considered "Hinterlands."

Now however it has blossomed into a sizable town in an area that keeps growing.

There is a plan to put in a permanent BMX Facility that can host major events.  According to the president of BMX USA up to twice a year. 

A 4,000 seat facility, covered (because as it turns out, Arizona is hot), national headquarters AND an Olympic Training facility that could make Gilbert FINALLY a destination... Instead of all the spill over from Chandler, its neighbor who has properly capitalized on every opportunity imaginable.

For all you kids of the '80's that means that "Hell Track" is close to reality. 

So how did the neighbors react to this?  By protesting it because of "noise and traffic."

2 times a year. 

Here's the thing people, I get that you want to preserve your way of life, but when you get an opportunity like this, you take it. You don't complain about "noise and traffic" 2 times a year.  Why? Because the applicant can just as easily go somewhere else. Then you lose all the opportunity that project would have brought.  

Look at Fullerton, Ca who lost out on the tax revenues of the Brea Mall and the cultural benefits of the Norton Simon Museum - both of which were supposed to be in Fullerton before the cries of "traffic and noise."

Those are lost opportunities.

Here we are, coming up on a year later,  and there has been no movement since the city rejected this plan in April of last year.

However the question becomes, who is to blame? The neighbors (for complaining), the city council (for lacking the foresight or political will), the planning department (for not properly showing the benefits of the projects), the applicant (for not framing their vision correctly), or the Public Affairs Firm (if there was one) for not framing it correctly?

Accepting growth means accepting vision.  If you can't sell your vision, you can't sell your project.  Just as people didn't see a need for the iPad (which incidentally I was one, and am currently writing this post from) people saw the vision.  Your project / plan / idea needs to paint that same vision for everyone to accept the change.

What are you doing that could use a little vision engineering?  And are you doing it?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lessons from EmailGate

A good friend of mine wrote a great article on the cyber security lessons of Hillary's EmailGate.

Here's the public perception lesson -

You can't run for president and appeal to voters young and old if you act like the old.

What do I mean?
  • Ask the average 60 year old how they view Hillary's excuse of having difficulty with multiple devices and they will likely go with it
  • Ask the average 40 year old, and they are likely to be carrying 2 devices on them
  • Ask the average 30 year old if they can manage 2 email accounts and they will tell you they have several, but rely more on various social media platforms all linked into the same smart phone
  • Ask the average 25 year old and they will tell you that they find better communication through apps that chances are you havent heard from
  • Ask the average 18 year old and they are going to speak in a language you will need translated
Hillary's answer appealed to only 1 group.  And what is their answer?  Vote Warren.

That simple thing caused younger Democrats to start looking elsewhere.  Not necessarily the scandal, or the lost emails, or any of that - it was that they were looking at someone who used too-much technology as an excuse.  Something they can't relate to.

Obama on the other hand has adopted multiple social media platforms, and even gone on obscure internet shows - like "Between Two Ferns" - to make sure his appeal stretches beyond just traditional bases.

Now obviously there are many reasons that people choose to vote for a presidential candidate.  However this very well could be Hillary's Dukakis in a Tank moment -

The question is, are the messages you are sending making you look like Dukakis in a tank, or Obama on Between Two Ferns?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

GA Strategies in March

Coming up in March, we will be heading a number of different places -

- Upstate New York
- Las Vegas, NV
- Washington D.C.
- Prescott Az

Connect with us if you are around