Kotkin Crushes His (Imaginary) Enemies

Many planners these days are promoting higher densities, especially in urban cores. Urban scholar Joel Kotkin inexplicably takes this trend to mean that a "cult" of planners favors bone-crushing crowds that would turn US cities into slums.
May 6, 2013, 6am PDT | Josh Stephens
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"Joel Kotkin, Los Angeles-based urban theorist and persistent critic of downtown revitalization, would have you believe that advocates of smart growth—which, these days, includes not only Andres Duany, Richard Florida, and CP&DR’s own Bill Fulton but also the California Legislature and pretty much every planning director in the state—all want to turn their cities into putrid slums," writes Josh Stephens.

"There is, apparently, a 'cult of density' among urban planners these days. Specifically, Kotkin says that among 'urban core theorists perhaps no idea is more widely accepted…than the notion that higher population densities lead to more productivity and sustainable economic growth.' I hear they also sacrifice goats on subway platforms. Kotkin implies that 'higher' means 'unlimited' and that these 'theorists' believe that ever greater increments of density will result in ever higher increments of productivity."

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Published on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 in California Planning & Development Report
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