Friday, April 23, 2010

The anti-government Smart Growther

Blogging from "The Reinvented City," in Cambridge, Mass., a conference sponsored by the Nieman Foundation, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

9:45 a.m. - Andres Duany, founder of Duany Plate-Zyberk and one of the founders of the New Urbanism movement, is proving that Smart Growth and "New Urbanist" are not synonymous with "bog-government liberal." He's talking about rebuilding New Orleans:
"The government has made affordable housing impossible, so that only government can deliver it."
In America, he says, "We did three centuries of housing immigrants without a nickel. Then government busted in." His point is that building standards, adopted with the best of motives, make it impossible to build the rudimentary housing that can serve as places for people without much money to live in.

And more on the problems in the U.S. planning process:
"We dumbed it down too much." And we make decisions at the wrong level. Decisions that should have been made at the block level are made citywide - example: Chickens. "Chickens are so in." Cities outlaw chickens citywide. That's a decision that should depend on the different situations in different parts of town. But bike paths will be defeated if you make the decisions at the neighborhood level - people will always protest bike paths and greenways, Duany notes. That's a decision that should be made at the regional level, because those amenities are important to the overall community.


JAT said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- my neighbors get urban chickens, I get an urban coyote.

Simple, clean block-level response.

Brendan said...

Depends on how much of a nuisance chickens can be. But the coyote idea will just get you sued for property damage.