betacity


Walt Disney was right!
July 19, 2010, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Cities, density, Suburbs

Walt Disney built unreal real towns.  As the nation became suburbanized, his fantasy villages became the only place you could go to see what appeared to be a real town.

From the Geography of Nowhere:

And Walt Disney was right!  Through the postwar decades Americans happily allowed their towns to be destroyed.  They’d flock to Disneyland at Anaheim, or later to Disney World in Florida, and walk down Main Street, and think, gee, it feels good here.  Then they’d go back home and tear down half the old buildings downtown and pave them over for parking lots, throw a parade to celebrate a new K Mart opening – even when it put ten local merchants out of business – turn Elm Street into a six-lane crosstown expressway, pass zoning laws that forbade corner grocery stores in residential neighborhoods and setback rules that required every new business to locate on a one-acre lot until things became so spread out you had to drive everywhere.  They’d build the new central school four miles out of town on a busy highway so that kids couldn’t walk there.  They’d do every fool thing possible to destroy good existing relationships between things in their towns, and put their local economies at the mercy of distant corporations whose officers didn’t give a damn whether these towns lived or died.  And then, when vacation time rolled around, they’d flock back to Disney World to feel good about America.

J. H. Kunstler, The Geography of Nowhere, p. 221

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