Look At Houston In A Different Light, Argues Kotkin

Often maligned by by most planners and urbanists, the City of Houston, Texas, receives a glowing defense from Joel Kotkin.

"When speaking on urban issues, one reliable way to draw derisive comments is to mention Houston. Perhaps no major city in America has a worse reputation among planners, urban aesthetes and smart growth advocates.

Yet, to a remarkable extent, Houston may well defy its critics - not only by continuing to expand, but by constructing a new and dynamic model of American urbanism that transcends all the worn cliches about 'sprawl' and the burgeoning city's inability to attract educated workers."

"Critics often denounce such sprawling places as the ''anti-city,'' inimical to the historic spirit of urbanism. But viewed from the future perspective, such attitudes surely seem as shortsighted as it would have been for a Florentine to see the growth of industrial cities like Manchester, England, as outside the realm of the urban experience."

Full Story: Trust market to shape the new Houston

Comments

Comments

Let Kotkin Move To Nineteenth-Century Manchester

viewed from the future perspective, such attitudes surely seem as shortsighted as it would have been for a Florentine to see the growth of industrial cities like Manchester, England, as outside the realm of the urban experience.

Since Kotkin admires it as a model, it would only be just if we could move him to the slums of nineteenth-century Manchester. Despite its "dynamism," it was a miserable place to live.

The difference is that this dynamism was needed in nineteenth-century England. In the early days of the industrial revolution, this economic dynamism was leading England from abject poverty to a more prosperous future.

Today, we Americans no longer live in abject poverty, and dynamism-at-all-costs is no longer a model for us to follow.
Today, we should be trying to create more livable cities.

Kotkin's call for cities that maximize "dynamism" and economic growth at the expense of quality of life is leading us toward ecological disaster.

Because Kotkin uses the nineteenth-century economy as his model, he lacks "the future perspective" needed to see this obvious point.

Charles Siegel

Cheerleading.

Kotkin is just trying to get pub for his cheer piece on "Opportunity Urbanism" written for a Houston client. Or maybe its an apologia. Hard to tell, but either way it doesn't pass the smell test.

IMHO, the reason why some creative classers are moving there is the too-high prices in the Bay Area and New England. Say...maybe Kotkin should live in Houston if it's so wonderful.

Best,

D

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