Friday, March 07, 2008

"...the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world."


In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life -- the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about. Reengineering our cities will involve more radical change than we are prepared for, he believes, but our hand will be forced by earth crises stemming from our overconsuming lifestyle. "Life in the mid-21st century," Kunstler says, "is going to be about living locally." Passionate, profane and funny, this talk will make you think about the place where you live.

From bluegill:

Did someone mention an interest in breaking the cycle of poverty and creating pride in the community? Funny, then, that we would design our infrastructure to put workers in one place and educational opportunities, jobs, and childcare in another. A rational person might conclude that's divisive and inefficient, unless they sell petroleum products and plywood window coverings for a living. Or just want to pay more taxes for no particularly good reason.

Kunstler's Clusterfuck Nation Chronicle, published each Monday, is archived here, as referenced
by NAC's My guess? "The Gary” probably doesn't subscribe to this one.


Peter Feimer said...

Excellent post, Bluegill! Although not news, I have never heard it stated so succinctly or powerfully. Perhaps you should email it to the NA city council, mayor and plan commission, as well as the Floyd County commissioners, though the sensitive will be turned off by the language and miss the message.

It so accurately describes decades of abject ignorance of the value of our urban architecture, the total abandonment of a once-beautiful downtown, and the destruction of the Grantline Road and Charlestown Road corridors in this no-deposit-
no-return society. It's not too late to turn it around.

Thank you for the post. Peter

Ann said...

I think Kunstler's presentation should be required viewing for all of our elected decision makers.

The good news is that New Albany has much intact structure in the urban core, and that there are many of us within it who are utilizing the core and doing our best to preserve and promote it.