Saturday, June 2, 2012

"New Urbanism," hold the "colonization."

Via @PPS_Placemaking, here's a mostly really good article at the StreetSense site about the vision of the Congress for the New Urbanism and the notion of reversing Daniel Burnham's call to "Make No Little Plans." Little plans, it says, is what we need.

One thing that's good about little plans is, for example, not displacing whole neighborhoods at a time to make room for grand betterment schemes, the way "big" thinkers used to do. The "little plans" idea comes across as a good humane adjustment to rebuilding human-scale urban neighborhoods.

So in the middle of the article, it's a bit jarring to find this:
The Congress for the New Urbanism views disinvestment in central cities, the spread of placeless sprawl, increasing separation by race and income, environmental deterioration, loss of agricultural lands and wilderness, and the erosion of society’s built heritage as one interrelated community-building challenge.
This is already happening with great success in our existing gateway cities like New York and San Francisco. Even in second tier cities like Pittsburgh, we are coming together to colonize our urban centers like never before. But as these gateway cities and megaregions reach their eventual carrying capacity, we intuitively know that we will have to recolonize our old company towns, small hamlets and other second and third tier cities out of equal parts necessity and preference.
"Colonize"? What does that say about people who live in center cities already?

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