7.5.16

THE WAY IN WHICH WISE EXPERTS FAIL.

Cold Spring Shops has trouble saying anything nice about urban renewal.  Not years ago, not recently.

If you want pictures, go to Streetsblog.  Perhaps St. Louis could have kept the football Cardinals if they'd just left well enough alone.
Buildings exploding. Entire city blocks reduced to ghost towns. Families out on curbs, carrying all their belongings in suitcases.

It wasn’t a war, though — it was mid-century St. Louis.  Perhaps no other American city more enthusiastically embraced the development strategy known as “urban renewal,” a euphemism for wide-scale demolition to clear land for rebuilding on a blank slate.  Today we look back on this era as a moral and social catastrophe of our own government’s design.
It's amply illustrated. Read and understand. Note also that faddish French ideas wreck more than higher education.
Here are the “visionaries” behind Pruitt-Igoe, the gigantic housing project that later came to stand for everything wrong with the towers-in-a-park model. In Death and Life, [Jane] Jacobs wrote about why the variety and fine-grained detail of city streets matter — qualities that were swept away here to make room for monotonous buildings and sterile green space. The scene of planners toying with neat, orderly models, oblivious to the effect on actual people, captures the antithesis of what Jacobs stood for.
But we must excuse the wreckage, because Good Intentions.

Enough of your Good Intentions, already.

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