Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quote for the Day

From a great article at the Atlantic on the inevitability of gentrification and the nostalgists who either lament or fight it. Things either get better or they get worse...and investment alone without self-aware design is no guarantee which direction it will nudge the inertia:
The same processes created—and, as Sorkin and Zukin would have it, destroyed—contemporary SoHo, Tribeca, and the East Village. In their analyses of each, it’s clear that they pine for—and mistake as susceptible to preservation—the same sort of transitional moment Jacobs evokes in Death and Life, when an architecturally interesting enclave holds in ephemeral balance the emerging and the residual.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to positive or negative magnetic forces within the city. If an element of the urban puzzle are quite literally repulsive, either redesign it to be more humane and integral to the place or remove it altogether, and the flexibility to allow the processes to occur within a framework that encourages positive urban experience and functionality.

I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with Manhattan and other parts of NYC trending upward in price. It means a restoration to proper land valuation where land and space is worth the most in the heart of the city, where urban metabolism is at its greatest.