Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Book Club Blog Posting

Entitled the Co-opted American Dream and the Rise of Guerrilla Urbanism:

The intrinsic "wiring" he refers to had nothing to do with the current geographic landscape of our cities. Rather the urban (or anti-urban) genotype was written to produce nothing but suburbia. This is the myth of choice in the American marketplace. From generic and complex Euclidean zoning, to tax incentives for new home construction, to artificially low gas prices, to road construction that is only paid in half by gas taxes and user fees, the difference comprised of subsidies to ensure more "growth," more spending, rather than actual value creation.

It produces one general physical form, meaning one way of life, and we are reacting negatively to it. While it might be the preference of some, forcing everyone into that way of life distorts markets, ensures traumatic "bubbles," and is utterly unsustainable. As more and more households discover they are now "underwater," with transportation costs are eating up an increasingly large chunk of our paychecks, and massive infrastructural deficits, the result of the suburban experiment has been increased class stratification. His ideal is proving to be anti-democratic in practice, no matter how good it sounds in theory.

If this presupposed reality was actually market-driven, would we have to break the law to get walkable, sociable, people-friendly places as Go Oak Cliff and the Better Block project artfully showed by breaking almost a dozen city ordinances?

Meanwhile we are left with all this stuff, boatloads of household and public debt, and no place to go.