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Volume 15, Issue 37 ~ September 13 - September 19, 2007


EnVISIONing Our Future

When you don’t know where you’re going, it’s harder to get there. Even if you arrived, would you know?

That’s wisdom, achieved with age, that we like to pass on to the younger generation, who are as unimpressed as we were back in our kite-drift days.

The way the wind is blowing this week, that principle is in the air, and we’re enjoying the inspiration it’s blown our way.

One of those inspirations is Margaret Tearman’s pair of stories on maps in this week’s issue of Bay Weekly. Even as a girl, Tearman knew that maps can take you on amazing journeys. So it was a labor of love to write about the new 2007-’08 edition of Maryland’s Official Transportation map.

Those stories will get you in the mood to think planfully, just in time for EnVISIONing Annapolis, the first of a series of six community conversations introducing stimulating new ideas about how cities — and citizens — can shape their futures.

EnVISIONing Annapolis is the brainchild of Greg Stiverson, a historian who’s taught himself to look into the future as well as into the past. Some of that habit of thought must have come from Maryland’s comptroller Louis Goldstein, who was Stiverson’s practical and political mentor. We profiled Stiverson back when he was executive director of Historic London Town; this year, he retired from Historic Annapolis Foundation.

We’re not surprised Stiverson’s turned up as a futurist, trying to draw a 21st century map for the capital city of the state whose past he knows so well.

The goal of EnVISIONing Annapolis, he explains, “is to empower citizens to take an informed, creative and proactive role in defining a vision of the future that preserves the best of the past while enhancing the quality of life for future generations.”

We’re excited, because Stiverson and the EnVISIONing Annapolis Foundation, which he now heads, have come up with a practical plan that puts into action our own favorite American history lesson.

America stands on the principle that the world and everything in it is God’s gift to us to take and use to fulfill our dreams. Over our history, we’ve pushed that assumption to its limits. Now, before the world and our dreams implode, we need to find a new principle to stand on.

By now, 2007, everybody knows that sustainability is the name of that principle.

We talk about it; the EnVISIONing Annapolis Foundation is doing something about it.

Between now and next June, six internationally recognized experts tell us how “other cities are directing their destinies by embracing informed change, adopting constructive new mindsets and encouraging creativity in citizens and local institutions.”

EnVISIONing Annapolis begins with British urban futurist Charles Landry, who’ll leads us in exploring the role of citizens and culture in creating dynamic, self-sustaining 22nd century cities.

The date to plan the future is 3pm Sunday, September 16 at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

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