Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Movie recommendation "The Pruitt-Igoe Myth" high density housing gone awry.

On Netflix Movie for instant download.  Highly Recommended.

Destroyed in a dramatic and highly-publicized implosion, the Pruitt-Igoe public housing complex has become a widespread symbol of failure amongst architects, politicians and policy makers. The Pruitt-Igoe Myth explores the social, economic and legislative issues that led to the decline of conventional public housing in America, and the city centers in which they resided, while tracing the personal and poignant narratives of several of the project's residents. In the post-War years, the American city changed in ways that made it unrecognizable from a generation earlier, privileging some and leaving others in its wake. The next time the city changes, remember Pruitt-Igoe.

Smart Growth and the Ideal City. (forty years ago)

Smart Growth,  that is, growth by central planning has been with us for a long time.  This article was written bout Halle-Neustadt, East Germany when it was deemed the Ideal City forty years ago.  worth reading.

The real reason why there is a mad push to build housing in Marin

The real reason for massive increase in public housing in Marin is the push for regional government.  The social theory is that by combining suburban and urban areas, that the whole region improves.  The problem with this theory is that it destroys our of fundamental right to self governance and forces the redistribution of tax dollars from suburban areas into urban centers.  Regional government destroys the very concept of suburbs and individual democratic freedom to govern ourselves locally.  All must be sacraficed for the "greater good", determined by (you guessed it) a  regional political elite. While this makes sense for transportation,  it is positively in conflict for our local democratic heritage.

Our board of Supervisors are leaders in this movement.  Supervisor Steve Kinsey, is the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).  Supervisor Susan Adams was a vice president on the Board of Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG). 

Here is an agenda of an upcoming meeting with MTC-ABAG working task force    Notice how they are looking for solutions for the entire regional governance of the Bay Area.      (“Novato,  let me introduce you to your new neighbor Union City.  They will help determine your local government policies on housing, transportation and welfare”).

The point is that our challenge is much greater than a few ill conceived housing developments.  Ultimately, it is a fight for our rights to self govern ourselves, choose the density of our housing and open space and the funding for our schools.

The goal of the regionalist government movement is to spread urban pressures evenly around the metropolitan area to improve the whole region.  No reasonable person would ever assume that building government housing for 1600 people would be needed for a middle class suburb of 6000 in Marinwood/Lucas Valley.  To fill these units, we will most certainly need to import people from other areas to fill them.   Too bad for the taxpayers.  These new developments will not contribute to the tax base.  Tax payers will need to take up the slack.

For over fifty years Marin has been the leader for conservation and wise land use. We are generous with our public services for the needy.   Now  an unelected “regional government” ABAG threatens to urbanize Marin with thousands of units of government housing and destroy our right to self rule.  Our quiet tree lined streets and open space may become high density apartment blocks if they get their way.  Greedy developers can’t wait to build this “urban fantasy” with our tax subsidies.

We must stop it. We must protect our lands and our legacy.  We must protect our democratic rights for us and future generations.

In case you doubt the scope of the problem we face, check out this document published by ABAG:


US-China Symposium on Smart Growth. Are they Kidding?
This actually seems like a joke but it is true..  In San Jose in a few weeks there will be symposium with US companies to learn about Chinese central planning and smart growth.  My recent trip to Yangzte River gave me a taste of Chinese central planning- forced removal of people from the countryside and warehousing in high rise apartments.   
Check out the reputable Bay Area American companies promoting this conference.  The keynote speaker is former Republican presidential candidate, Jon Huntsman.
We are in an essential struggle to protect our liberties. Maybe Marx was right.  The capitalists will sell the rope to hang ourselves.