Sunday, April 30, 2006

The song remains the same

Bill Steigerwald reminds us that the late Jane Jacobs' classic "The Death and Life of the Great American Cities" remains sadly relevant today, because many of the forces that she opposed continue to wield great power in American cities, and Pittsburgh remains a great example:

As she wrote in a foreword to the 1993 edition of "Death and Life," "Anti-city planning remains amazingly sturdy in American cities. It is still embodied in thousands of regulations, bylaws, and codes, also in bureaucratic timidities owing to accepted practices, and in unexamined public attitudes hardened by time."

Jacobs also said in 1993 she'd love to be able to take credit for ending America's plague of urban-renewal and slum-clearing programs. But it just wasn't true, she said, as proposed Downtown redevelopment schemes in cities like Pittsburgh would soon prove.

We are, it seems, a people doomed to continue to repeat our mistakes.

2 Comments:

Blogger lblair said...

For the love of god! I actually created an account merely to leave a comment - and am apparently not the first as 'noblogjustacomment" was taken, and I had to make it "noblogjustacommentnat" to get set up. Whew!

My friend, the song remains the same is all too appropriate. My name is Lauren Blair, I am a project manager at Ripple Effects, working on the cmu.edu account. I was at a meeting today regarding CMS templates and your name came up via Nicole and Kim who were there as representatives from HSS - and they were great.

Having found you in googling Mulu Birru, I was quite shocked to find this terribly progressive, literate blog, and that you are so very accomplished, and now so knowing, you were SO MISSED at this meeting! We would have really valued your insights!

And I say this not as a representative of REI per se, but as an alumnus and former staffer. Our paths might have even crossed there at some point - I left to join REI in 2004.

Is there any hope still of picking your brain as to what's needed? Would you be willing to discuss via email of in person, evern by phone?

Thanks, pleasure to meet you so to speak,
regards, Lauren Blair
lblair at r-effects dot com

7:35 PM

 
Blogger lblair said...

For the love of god! I actually created an account merely to leave a comment - and am apparently not the first as 'noblogjustacomment" was taken, and I had to make it "noblogjustacommentnat" to get set up. Whew!

My friend, the song remains the same is all too appropriate. My name is Lauren Blair, I am a project manager at Ripple Effects, working on the cmu.edu account. I was at a meeting today regarding CMS templates and your name came up via Nicole and Kim who were there as representatives from HSS - and they were great.

Having found you in googling Mulu Birru, I was quite shocked to find this terribly progressive, literate blog, and that you are so very accomplished, and now so knowing, you were SO MISSED at this meeting! We would have really valued your insights!

And I say this not as a representative of REI per se, but as an alumnus and former staffer. Our paths might have even crossed there at some point - I left to join REI in 2004.

Is there any hope still of picking your brain as to what's needed? Would you be willing to discuss via email of in person, evern by phone?

Thanks, pleasure to meet you so to speak,
regards, Lauren Blair
lblair at r-effects dot com

7:35 PM

 

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