North American Cities Are Broken

about | archive

[ 2004-August-01 21:36 ]

This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart: North American cities are broken. And it seems like I am not the only one who beginning to see it. Jeffery Veen writes about the differences between Boulder, Colorado, and San Antonio, Texas, in "A Contrast in Urban Design." He mentions that an artificial tourist destination called River Walk is a parody of the very human-centered design [he] appreciated in Boulder. I think this is the reason that I find places like Disney World, and to a lesser extent malls, so deeply disturbing: We've fucked up our cities so badly that we take vacations to places that are designed correctly: Mixed use spaces with lots of pedestrian areas and public transportation. Even USA Today, of all publications, published an article titled "City, suburban designs could be bad for your health." It turns out that people don't walk places because they can't walk places. This is exactly what frustrated me so much about living in Redmond, Washington. Now, if only we can convince enough people that a big house far from other people is not a dream home, I might be able to live outside of Europe and New York City.