Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sustainable craziness

In reading about smart (sub)urban planning, I read this passage that recounts the letter from a Utah resident written in opposition to a new neighboring development with anti-sprawl design. (From Suburban Nation, p. 193)

[The planner] states, with deliberate intent to deceive, that "The lives of kids are enriched with narrow streets; kids are everywhere, they can play in the streets and alleys." Street play is mindful of tenements in the big eastern cities, where yards are absent. When kids are not in your yard, but are away from your supervision and out where kids govern, the gang culture prevails. Might and fear will rule the street. We will experience the drive-by shootings that are gang-member initiations. Children away from home are far more susceptible to being kidnapped, daughters and sons to being attacked and raped at the playground some blocks away.

And this is why I worry for humanity. The density of crazy in this letter is simply staggering. Evidently, this sound argument is what holds back smart urban planning. (This last statement isn't true, but it's sad that such inane vitriol can delay a project in the first place.)

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