Friday, December 4, 2009

Recession = No Holiday Cookies

Before the recession wiped out many local developers by practically halting almost all new construction, developers, law firms, engineering & landscaping firms, etc…used to send local government offices all types of snacks and treats during the holidays. Nothing major, all the catered snacks and such were very nominal and were meant for everyone in the office to enjoy. We used to receive almost a dozen different trays of cookies, brownies, candy and other holiday snacks. This one law firm in particular used to send us this huge tray of these small gourmet cookies. The incredibly soft cookies came in three different flavors, chocolate, snicker-doodle and my personal favorite chocolate fudge. There had to been at least 150-200 cookies on this tray and within two hours the whole tray of cookies would be devoured.

I write this because normally on a long Friday workday during the holidays, I would snack on all the different type of goodies to get me through the day. This year, there have been no cookies delivered to the office, much to my chagrin. Along with no cookies there have also been almost no new development…well at least in any consistent development. Fortunately I have been involved in several community plans that have provided more then enough work to keep me busy. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for my sometime oppositional counterparts, developers and attorneys. I feel for those guys and gals. Though sometimes was have to work in opposition of each other, after several years of working with them, you really get to know them. Hell, they give me cookies every year.

So this post is dedicated to all the people in the planning and engineering related fields. It’s been a tough year for all planners, architects and engineers alike on both the public and private side. Although significantly more tougher on the private side. I know more then a few planners, architects and engineers that have lost their jobs this year. While I know that development and the way we developed projects before the recession will probably never be the same again, I do hope for a rebound in more sustainable, transit influenced, walkable development and not the return of more strip shopping centers and residential sprawl.

So for all of the struggling planners, architects, landscape engineers, construction managers, engineers, permit runners and local planners, I hope there will be more development for 2010. And I hope that next year the holiday cookies will return.

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