High Rises: One Size That Doesn't Fit All

Two big names are calling for more high rise development and less of the historic preservation efforts that have often prevented it in dense urban areas. <em>The Philadelphia Inquirer</em>'s Inga Saffron says they're wrong.
June 11, 2011, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
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The high rise argument being pushed by architect Rem Koolhaas and economist Ed Glaeser are a one-size-fits-all approach that won't necessarily work, according to Saffron.

"The story of what happened in Society Hill has long been regarded by planners as a watershed moment for American cities. By renovating its dilapidated housing stock, Bacon demonstrated that historic preservation could be a powerful economic-development tool, one that has guided Philadelphia's slow but steady revival for half a century.

That narrative is now being challenged in some unlikely intellectual corners. Rather than helping our cities recover their bearings, historic preservation is strangling them, the revisionists assert. They blame our sentimental affection for old buildings for everything from sky-high rents to the economic whupping the United States has taken from China."

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Published on Wednesday, June 8, 2011 in The Philadelphia Inquirer
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