Monday, November 23, 2009

Sucking The Life Out Of Cities

Regionalism is all the rage. The Obama Administration is betting big on regional planning as a way to make smarter decisions on transportation, climate, the economy—all those things that don’t respect political boundaries. The Administration plans to reward communities that work together across jurisdictions toward common goals and, by implication, punish those that do not.

Who can argue with that? I certainly can’t.

But as I sit here in a brand name suburban motel room situated on a highway that could be anywhere, all my doubts about the wisdom of regionalism resurface. I can walk to the Shell station for some Fig Newtons, and I see a Checkers across the street, but there’s too much pavement between here and there to make the trip.

I happen to be in this motel in City A because I landed today in City B for a meeting tomorrow morning in City C. Got that?

All three cities, plus two others, happen to share a single region. On their own, all of these cities have distinct charm. But string them together with the highway sprawl so familiar all over the country, and it sucks all the charm out of the idea of regionalism—fast. In this case, the sum is decidedly less than its parts.

These are the opening paragraphs from today's blog post by our colleague, Carol Coletta, at www.good.is. To read more of her post, click here.

17 comments:

Wintermute said...

Pretty lame, this woman preaches, but won't even walk across too much pavement or an asphalt parking lot to do business with a local restaurant.

You gotta walk that walk, not just talk that talk.

I'd rather have been served up a BBQ pizza, Ms. Coletta, than this piece of mierda.

Anonymous said...

wintermute: i would hardly call checkers a local restaurant or one worth walking to; i believe you have missed the point entirely

Anonymous said...

"somebody" should have her "people" use a better motel finding website before venturing outside of the 12 block downtown area in whatever advanced PC city she now resides in-since it is no longer memphis-apparently since 'we' collectively ignored Richard Florida, et. al.

The 'burbs are doing just fine, thank you.

Anonymous said...

the burbs are fine? lol, Southaven is a slum in waiting. the metro area is completely stagnant in real growth, and likely to stay that way. Or shrink.

Midtowner said...

Housing bust halts growing suburbs:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-11-19-suburbs_N.htm

Anonymous said...

Wintermute:

Rarely has someone made so much out of so little. Could you manage to get the point rather than get tangled up in some notion of your own.

When I look across 6-8 lanes of traffic during my travels, I never walk across. You need to get out more.

Her point is right on target.

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