Some things I’ve been reading but don’t have much to say about. I think they speak for themselves, but have quite a lot to say. A quote and a link for each:
The Case of the Vanishing White House Office, Next American City:
Would Obama appoint an accomplished big-city mayor like New York’s Mike Bloomberg? An influential policy wonk like Brookings’ Bruce Katz? What would this office do with regard to poverty, education, sprawl and transportation? When Obama picked Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., there was general puzzlement at the seemingly random choice.
Where We Live, Greater Greater Washington:
Urban Planning as Consensual Illusion, The Transportationist:
William Gibson’s Neuromancer defines cyberspace as a “consensual illusion” obtained when a user “jacks into” the network. Plans for cities are also consensual illusions, a community agreed upon vision of how the city will look at some future date. Planners are but illusionists, creating and shaping a fantasy for a how city imagines itself, and through this consensus, harnessing the positive feedback processes of public and private investments aiming to achieve self-fulfilling prophesies. By promising networks, development will come; by promising demand, infrastructure will come.
New Mapping Vividly Illustrates The Effect of Transit on Auto Dependence, NRDC Switchboard
Lessons from the Left: When Radicals Rule–for Thirty Years, The New Geography:
So SMRR dominates political life in the city of Santa Monica, but it does so with the consent of many homeowners, property and business owners, as well as renters. Santa Monica is green, PC, insufferably “tolerant,” self-satisfied, etc., but still doing well for itself. Taxes, rules, regulations and restrictions are onerous, but people and businesses still want to be there.
And finally, some fun from Florida: