Innovation when Good Planning Policy Has Become the Norm

Scott Doyon argues for a stripped-down, back-to-basics 'punk rock' approach to urban growth and development to replace the 'rock and roll' excesses of planning during the housing boom; and he profiles the new innovators who are doing just that.

Doyon equates the innovation needed in the planning world to how punk rock shook up rock and roll. It's what we're going to need to get in line with our new economic realities, which happen to be very, very different from the planner's life during the housing boom. Doyon says:

"Luxury, comfort, and every creative whim were not only welcomed but celebrated. In that context, our frequent argument over whether to code something four stories or five, despite a market that may never support more than a story or two, suddenly takes on the overreaching tones of an eight minute guitar solo."

"And our greenfield TNDs? While certainly beautiful, functional and neighborly, many remained so connected to auto-intensive patterns of commuting and consumption that, in retrospect, they were the creative equivalent of a free-form jazz exploration in front of a festival crowd. Santana Row. Beautiful, but can we build it in the future?"

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Punk Rock and the New Urbanism: Getting back to basics


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