Tuesday, May 02, 2006

More on Jane Jacobs . . .

Another interesting take (from the Wall Street Journal) on Jane Jacobs' urban assertions and how current planners and designers are mis-appopriating her thesis in their New Urbanism and anti-sprawl initiatives.

Here is one specific paragraph that throws a wet-rag on the very popular notion of "regionalism" that is all the rage in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County:

But if they go back and reread "Death and Life," they'll find Jacobs rightly asking, "How is bigger administration, with labyrinths nobody can comprehend or navigate, an improvement over crazy-quilt township and suburban governments?"

She went on to ridicule the idea of regionalism as "escapism from intellectual helplessness" predicated on the delusion that the problems planners are unable to solve at the local level will somehow be more easily addressed on a larger-scale, concluding that "no other expertise can substitute for locality knowledge in planning."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Except that too many governing units make sure that there is a lot of money spent on salaries for positions that could be easily done by that person for a much larger area, serving more people for less. And small governmental units lose the economy of scale found in larger entities including the power they could have with vendors but don't since they purchase piddling amounts of supplies.