Preservationists v. Urbanists

Preservationists are all about preserving our past. Urbanists are all about harvesting lessons from what the preservationists fight for -- to create better places in the future. Seems like these two groups would get along quite well. But no.

Scott Doyon discusses the tension between these groups that should be allies, but aren't:

"To a preservationist, the history of human settlement is a sort of interactive museum featuring a series of definitive, time-stamped displays (my observer's assessment, not a criticism). But to everyday people throughout history, and to New Urbanists now, it's a toolbox, filled with items that may come in handy on the work ahead."

"The merits, or lack thereof, of age-based value weren't much of an issue when the buildings being preserved were almost universally acknowledged as special. But we've recently passed the 50 year threshold for ranch house subdivisions. As we move into an era of diminishing resources and increasing demand for walkable, transit-friendly urban living, should we really be systematically enshrining these experiments in cheap gas, leisure-class consumption, which often occupy first-ring suburban settings now best suited to redevelopment and increased urbanization?"

"It's a tough call and it's just the tip of the iceberg."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Can Preservationists Let Love Rule?

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