Monday, February 3, 2014

The Absence of Vision & Leadership is the Playground of Clown-chitecture

I was asked for a react quote to the connected city competition a few months back.  My quote was edited down substantially for space or tone, but I thought it was particularly relevant given this week's news about 345.  In the absence of true leadership and vision for a better city, the void is filled by bureaucratic middlemen.  In this case it's the caveman hammering away with the rock for every task, disconnecting and destroying urban economies, which along with design, must operate on the fringes (of reality and physically):
I suppose it was the very nature of the particular competition or competitions in general these days that allows me to lump the "professional track" submissions together.  Each illustrated a photoshopped 'Dubaian' density that is as fantastical as it is outlandish [as the original]; predicated upon a demand theoretically and impossibly driven by a gold-plated "Green" infrastructure to physically contort the hypothetical cityscape around gold-plated gray infrastructure (meaning all of the inner-city highways because even if you manage to ford one, there are still several barriers between downtown and the Trinity).  This is an infrastructure which, incidentally, we can no longer afford and is itself sociofugal, meaning as a purveyor of high speed automotive traffic, it drives demand and thus density away as fast as it whisks cars through the city.  Therefore the endeavor itself is oxymoronic.  If we're really trying to THINK BIG! and envision what Dallas or any Sun Belt city might look like in several generations, perhaps we should start by erasing the mistakes rather than applying papier-mache over them.