betacity


no one’s really looking
July 19, 2010, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Cities

More evidence of the prevalence of the analytic:  we don’t plan, we merely do, or react or whatever.  This attitude is dominant in the offices I have worked in on the east coast.  I call it ‘how bout this?’  In designing a new product, the chief offers some low level input at the beginning and at critical phases.  The worker bees busily develop the idea.  BZZZ.  BZZZ. Hundreds of solutions are developed when four or five, with meaning, would do.  They are shown to the client: how ’bout this?  how ’bout this?  The toss out rate is extremely high and hundreds more are developed to replace the ones being binned.  And all because there is no big picture, no one willing, or capable, or something, of making goals, developing a vision.

Here is a quotation from Bob Yaro, a planner in New England:

“When you’ve done some planning in England and you come back over to this country, you realize how futile it is, because no one’s really looking at the big picture.  I admit that what we’re doing here is looking as some individual pieces of property and trying to make sure they don’t  get paved over.  But where is the big picture?  It doesn’t exist.”

Bob Yaro, since departed for his new job with the NYRPA, offered this final assessment in a phone interview:  ”When they come to chronicle the decline of this civilization,” he said, “they’re going to wonder why we were debating flag burning, abortion, and broccoli eating instead of the fundamental issues of how we live and use the environment.

–Bob Yaro, quoted by JH Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere

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