New Urbanism, Old Urbanism and “Creative Destruction”


Sarah Goodyear of Streetsblog brings us this story on how New Urbanism can change cities.  It includes a story about Sam Newberg’s revelation at Stapleton.  When he and a bunch of “planning geeks” were on a tour, they noticed a mother with her young child and dog, walking out of their house and heading to the park.  He came to the conclusion that the people who live in these communities don’t care that it’s New Urbanism.  They care that it’s close to parks, schools and shopping, that it’s safe, and that it’s attractive.  Instead of shoving jargon in people’s faces and telling them it’s good, we need to give them a vision of why New Urbanism is right for them.  She also includes an except from an article on The Urbanophile by Aaron Renn about “creative destruction” in the Midwest.  What’s true for Midwestern industries is often true for their settlements; they have reached a point of near meaninglessness, and if they don’t find a way to reinvent themselves soon, they will wither away.  He cites Mayor Daley of Chicago as a great example of an impetus for change that has turned a city in a better direction.  Compare him to Detroit‘s Kwame Kilpatrick.  Some communities, such as Flint, are taking drastic measures such as tearing down their abandoned neighborhoods in an effort to save the city money.  The Midwest is at a crossroads, and the decisions their municipalities make could lead them to a better future or to a state of obsolecence.

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