Thursday, November 12, 2009

Green Cities, Cool Cities (Florida, Kotkin)

Richard Florida of "Creative Class" fame has posted Greening the City on his blog at The Atlantic

Why not consider devoting different streets to different kinds of transportation? And surely cities need more green space and some are actually getting it. Inspired by the High-Line Park, by DC's Rock Creek Park, and Toronto's extensive ravine system, I have been noodling about the possibility of creating linear green belts or what I like to think of as sliver parks through cities. . . .

So I was more than pleasantly surprised to see The New York Times' Nicolai Ouroussoff highlighting just such an approach coming out of  a nine-month design competition for the Bronx's "faded" Grand Concourse.

Florida discusses the article about some very innovative ideas proposed for the Bronx project, and links to the Grand Concourse project website. 

Meanwhile, Joel Kotkin of New Geography and Forbes continues to pour empirical water on Florida's creative class thesis in Numbers Don't Support Migration Exodus to "Cool" Citites:

For the past decade a large coterie of pundits, prognosticators and their media camp followers have insisted that growth in America would be concentrated in places hip and cool, largely the bluish regions of the country.

Since the onset of the recession, which has hit many once-thriving Sun Belt hot spots, this chorus has grown bolder. The Wall Street Journal, for example, recently identified the "Next Youth-Magnet Cities" as drawn from the old "hip and cool" collection of yore: Seattle, Portland, Washington, New York and Austin, Texas.

It's not just the young who will flock to the blue meccas, but money and business as well, according to the narrative. The future, the Atlantic assured its readers, did not belong to the rubes in the suburbs or Sun Belt, but to high-density, high-end places like New York, San Francisco and Boston.

This narrative, which has not changed much over the past decade, is misleading and largely misstated. Net migration, both before and after the Great Recession, according to analysis by the Praxis Strategy Group, has continued to be strongest to the predominately red states of the South and Intermountain West.

An interesting and important debate about the core issues of land use planning.

Matt Festa

Environmental Law, Green Building, Planning | Permalink

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