Frameworks : empowering place in the face of a universal world
Hall, Peter Leland.
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The Flathead Valley stands on the edge of a precipice, staring down the destruction of its culture, ecology, landscape, and economy as it is quickly being filled to the brim. This destruction has become apparent to many locals and visitors and is starting to generate serious concerns. The problem of irresponsible rural development is one that has frustrated conservationists since the first skeptics of the industrial revolution. No one really wants to be a part of the systematic destruction of small town charm, open and natural landscapes, or functioning ecosystems; but, so many people want to live a life surrounded by these qualities. And right there is the problem. Traditional solutions to this problem have been regulations through zoning which, if actually protecting these qualities, slows economies. The other alternative is the short-term-minded capitalization of open space into money by means of developments. Neither of these solutions actually address the problem. A strategy that I would like to propose in place of these largely unsuccessful strategies is one that asks the question, why can't the forces that drive the demand for development also drive the sustainability of everything that is that place? A solution that recognizes the plight of locals and the desires of immigrants. Through clever and creative planning and design, entities can be introduced into a rural area and prove to embrace local culture, open space, and ecology, while being economically sustainable.