Friday, May 22, 2009

Guest post! New Urbanism!!

Since I started my blog in March, I have gotten many more emails about it than comments on the blog itself. The emails are much more positive and enlightening than many of the comments, something that is a little disappointing; they're more personal and less interactive, but all very interesting. This is one that I received yesterday- I received permission from the author (Beth, of the ESL program for which I volunteer) to use it as a guest post.

"On your blog, I saw the word Lustron. I had never heard that word before and looked it up.

I am fascinated by architecture. Learning about a new type of home bought back a bunch of memories.

The most recent memory is the new pre-fab house that was launched this month or last:

Our neighborhood in Manhattan (for nine years) was like a village, with neighbors who had lived on our street for decades. When we moved to Saginaw, Michigan in 1992, I was depressed by the urban sprawl to the point of experiencing physical pain. I missed city life so much, and Saginaw’s shell of a city center would have pleased and refreshed me 20 years before. Saginaw was being destroyed because of neglect and pure ignorance. I tried to get involved in preservation activities, but the efforts of a few were no match for cluelessness, clannishness, and corruption.

I read The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. She was so right in her critique of “modern” urban planning and how it had ruined inner cities. To see her predictions manifested in Saginaw was heartbreaking.

Just today I googled her name and came up with this:

In Milwaukee, it seems that there is a resurgence of interest in Jane Jacob’s common sense. As I drive around in parts that were once blighted and are now dotted with livable, attractive, urban HOMES (rather than PROJECTS), it certainly seems that the spirit of Jane Jacobs has been at work. If you design a “Jane walk” and post it on your blog, I’ll take the walk. It has been years since I thought of things like this.


Is anyone interested in taking the challenge? The "Jane Walk" is an interesting concept: regular citizens lead an urban walking tour, free of charge. Take a look at the link. Let me know what you think.


Dave Reid said...

We at have thought about organizing Janes walks, and maybe it's something I need to do soon.

The River Otter said...

I have little fear of public speaking if I have a good script and can use notes. I would love to do this!