Autumn on Lake Thoreau

Autumn on Lake Thoreau

Friday, January 4, 2013

Will Reston become "Willy Wonka urbanism?"

In a newgeography.com article entitled, "'Livability' vs. Livability: The Pitfalls of Willy Wonka Urbanism," urban policy writer Richey Piiparinen highlights the distinction between urban livability as it was intended--" affordable housing, mobility, education, and solid jobs"--and the evolving trend toward Willy Wonda urbanism--appealing to a select group of folks so as to form “an attractive economic place.”  The core of his argument:

This notion of “livability” really came on in the late 1980’s, and was done under the presumption that certain cities offered higher quality of life, read: better lifestyles. For instance, in 1989 geographer David Harvey wrote that cities need to “keep ahead of the game [by] engendering leap-frogging innovations in life-styles, cultural forms, products, and service mixes…if they are to survive.” This was a radical departure from previous societal efforts to make quality of life a priority (think: pollution remediation) in that “life” was swapped out for “lifestyle”. . . .

Click on the link above for the rest of this provocative article.  

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