For Next Week’s Workshop: Let’s ‘Do the Math’

Next week’s Central Avenue Corridor workshop features multiple opportunities to monitor the evolution of ideas and to help move the process to the next phase. The end product: A set of strategies that, over the next decade, promises to help Central Avenue neighborhoods — and the broader Albuquerque region — get the most out of transit investments planned for the Corridor.

The complete schedule for those meetings is here. And for a guide to which meetings best match your interests and your schedule, go here.

What we’ll spend a lot of time doing is evaluating an array of potential strategies for achieving our goals. In the broadest sense, those goals are about protecting and enhancing quality of life for Albuquerque’s families and businesses.

Quality of life includes a bundle of things that have to be addressed all at once. For instance: We want to reduce poverty and economic inequality. Which means increasing opportunities and reducing costs for the most people possible. We want to expand access along the Corridor — not only to transportation options, but also to more diverse housing choices, educational opportunities, jobs, shopping and entertainment. We’d like planning decisions to make healthy lifestyle choices easier, like walking and biking rather than having to depend exclusively on private automobiles for getting around.

Sorting through ideas to address all those ambitions is an exercise in probability. What’s the likelihood, we’ll ask ourselves, of this strategy advancing our goals? Which goals? Will advancing one goal diminish the chances of achieving others? What are the trade-offs?

Data, whether it’s in the form of experiences of other metro areas with similar ambitions or actual numbers (widely agreed upon return-on-investment results, for instance), will be particularly useful. The more we can make this a “do the math” exercise, the closer we can come to turning options into priorities.

One meeting, Wednesday night, March 8, features Joe Minicozzi’s presentation, “Mapping the Dollars and Cents of Albuquerque’s Revitalization.” It promises to be a showcase for ways to leverage dependable data for sorting through strategies. Minicozzi enjoys an international reputation for doing the math himself, demonstrating in easy-to-grasp graphics where the action is in cities and suburbs in terms of tax revenue, jobs and other contributors to community health. While we’ll never be able to count on a simple plug-and-play formula for achieving every goal for quality of life in every community, Minicozzi’s approach makes for a terrific conversation starter.

He’ll be presenting on Wednesday, March 8, at the Hotel Andaluz, 125 2nd Street NW (map it). Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with his presentation beginning at 6. 

Please plan to join us for that session and others that address your particular hopes and concerns. Again, the full schedule is here.

If you can’t make a meeting in person, follow along during the week here on the website. We’ll be filing reports on each day’s events the following morning.