Great Placemaking Begins with Acknowledging the Obvious

Our brains simply tune out anything that might suggest that our behavior is in some way complicit in our problems. Scott Doyon zeros in on the obvious, but often overlooked, problems with our auto-oriented culture.

"Driving is so commonplace, such an integral part of our modern existence, that it, or its commensurate infrastructure, no longer seems to register as problematic or dangerous. It’s just the way things are and can therefore be mentally tabled as something we’re flat out incapable of influencing.

"It’s the obstacle between us and actual reform. Check out this billboard that was bouncing around the socialsphere this week. A campaign whose sole point is reminding people that the root of our problem is — d’oh — too many people doing exactly what we’re doing. 'You aren't stuck in traffic. You are traffic. Get a bike. Break free!'"

"Places worthy of our affection or, in the words of Jim Kunstler, worth defending, are not built on band-aid solutions to simple problems," concludes Doyon. "Instead, they emerge from hard fought cultural consensus. From collective desires for change and the collective will to participate in what it takes to get there."

Full Story: Choosing to Overlook the Obvious

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