James Howard Kunstler vs. McDonald's

Kunstler and Duncan Crary debate the merits and drawbacks (mostly drawbacks) of two McDonald's restaurants being proposed for Saratoga Springs and Troy, New York (their respective hometowns).

Both McDonald's are attempting to meet local design requirements (pictures at the KunstlerCast site). And as Duncan notes, they are filling in locations which have stood empty for years and could be defined as "broken teeth." Kunstler says "I'd say every attempt should be made to defeat these f***ers and keep them out of your town."

Duncan reads to James from a letter to the editor he wrote suggesting that the McDonald's that it could be built into a useful, mixed-use building. Kunstler comments:

"I disagree with the expectation that they would ever build anything that would be okay enough."

Full Story: KunstlerCast #157: When McDonald's Comes to Town



A New Sustainable Mcs

For small places such as Saratoga Springs, where horses are a dominant spectacle and a source of indispensable income for the town, there is a pragmatic, if a bit Disneyesque, solution to the McDonalds problem.

The solution, which involves horses AND four wheels, is depicted in a photograph from another small town: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22392855@N08/5502369843/in/photostream

The shown alternative is utterly sustainable, wholly picturesque (befitting the Small Town ambiance), and could be a unique business opportunity that involves no profanities except, of course, for the inevitable natural, unsavory horse business that the entire 19th URBAN century had to contend with. A model from the past could be useful for our oil-less future.

As for the building design, it is hardly relevant when the FUNCTION is ecologically viable; a pretty building facade will not cut oil consumption.

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET