|Bedford Styvesant Housing Project NYC 1949|
The Best Laid Plans - Part IV: Public Policy, Community Voice & Social Equity
By Bob Silvestri
“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.” ~ The Wizard of Oz
Since the market crash of 2008, real estate developers, financiers and politicians have been in panic mode. Though it’s clear that the debt fueled hyper-growth of the past decades is gone forever, they remain in deep denial. Like some neurotic gambler who's lost it all but who’s still hitting the tables believing he can get it all back, these powerful interests continue to roll the dice, regardless of the social and community costs (quality of life, infrastructure, traffic, schools, etc.), regardless of the environmental costs, and regardless of the destabilizing economic impacts in the long run. The tragedy is how much damage could be done trying to bring back the “good old days.”
The concentration of wealth and power at the top and the influences of special interests are distorting local planning priorities. As I’ve tried to illuminate in this series, we can’t continue to pursue top down central planning practices or social engineering experiments that have repeatedly failed in the past. And since “the market” has not solved all our problems as promised, and left too many needs unmet, what should we be doing?
The Best Laid Plans Part IV: Public policy, Community voice, Social equity