Autumn Evening at Washington Plaza, Lake Anne,

Autumn Evening at Washington Plaza, Lake Anne,
Photo by Rodney Solano, Reston, hat tip Reston Patch

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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