Friday, August 8, 2014

Andres Duany, leading City Planner defends Benevolent Dictatorships

The first of nine Youtube videos featuring a lecture by Andres Duany
Editor's Note: Andres Duany is one of the Pied Pipers of  the school of Planning known as New Urbanism.  He also is unabashed in his support for draconian land use policies that take away individual property rights for the "public good" (which only planners can be entrusted). His views are disturbingly mainstream in the planning community and are the guiding ideology behind Smart Growth and the One Bay Area Plan enacted by the MTC and ABAG.  They are the ones that have created the "urban corridor" and the "Marinwood Priority Development Area" without your knowledge. 

The Man Who Reinvented the City

andres_duany.jpg This year marks the 30th anniversary of New Urbanism, the school of town planning and architectural design that highlights walkability, self-contained communities, and dense neighborhoods. Hailed as the antithesis of--and answer to--suburban sprawl, car culture, and the megamall, New Urbanism has proven both influential and contentious. (Its flagship development, Seaside, Florida, served as the too-quaint-to-be-real set for The Truman Show.) But its innovations and ideologies continue to shape the post-industrial streetscape, from the Rustbelt to the Sunbelt.

Andres Duany, the father of New Urbanism, left his job as a condominium developer in 1980 and founded the firm DPZ with his wife, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk. He's spent those 30 years sketching up new developments (some as far away as Abu Dhabi), arguing with critics at academic conferences and town hall meetings, and dreaming up new ways to get Americans out of their cars and onto the street. Reflecting on the indelible fingerprints his work has left on our urban landscape, Duany talked to The Atlantic about today's environmentalism, the problem with suburban teenagers, and why democracy can't be trusted to build smart cities.

Excerpt from article in the Atlantic

What's it like to return to Havana--to an urban landscape untouched by the destructiveness of global capital?
I think it's more than just capital. There are two kinds of destruction: there's the loss of the city, the high rises, which is what happened in Mexico City and Buenos Aires and Bogota. But then there's the other destruction, which is the migration of the rural people to the city. And that was controlled in Cuba. They just said, "You don't have your card, you don't have your permit, you are not coming in."

But I think the most interesting experiment of all is Singapore. Singapore had nothing going for it. No raw materials. And you got a kind of top-down government that was almost completely enlightened*, putting education first and so forth, and you have this city that is extremely livable.

While democracy does most things well, I think we need to confront the fact that it does not make the best cities. And that the cities that were great were rather top-down. You know--Paris and Rome, the grid of Manhattan. What would those have been like if there hadn't been some top-down stuff? Every landowner would have done a separate little pod subdivision. That's one of the things that's naive about Americans--extremely naive, I find, as an outsider having lived in places that are possibly less democratic, like Spain. This idea that you have an individual right to do whatever you want with your land is very democratic, but the result is pretty questionable.

Unfortunately, it's hard to have a debate in this country about certain things. We talk about bottom-up planning. And by the way, I make my living doing this bottom-up planning. But if you unfilter what people want--they don't want poor people, they don't want income diversity, and they don't want shops anywhere near them and they don't want rapid transit and they don't want streets that connect and they don't want anybody bicycling past their yards and they don't want density. So you can't just do unfiltered bottom-up planning. We need to educate.

for complete article see  Andres Duany, Father of New Urbanism

For more on the psychology of  Smart Growth Planners/Politicians see:  God Complex

For more on Singapore Justice seeCaning in Singapore

For more on the American Teenager sentenced to caning after vandalism see: Michael P Fay

 * by enlightened Singapore Government, does Andres Duany mean  making chewing gum illegal, heavy fines for spitting, homosexuality is a crime with severe penalties,  death penalty for drug dealing?   

The problem with allowing dictators rule every aspect of our lives is that they cannot help themselves when given the power.  Beware of the central planner. His power is more important to him than your liberty.

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