|James H. Kunstler|
After the movie the audience was able to ask questions about the themes of the movie; sprawl, placemaking, and community. This was a very timely event given that the city just adopted their 2040 General Plan after many committee meetings, workshops, and public outreach. Along with my council member the cities Planning Director, Assistant Planning Director and Director of Economic Development were on hand to answer any of the audiences questions.
Any urban planning student today has read, studied, reread, and dog-eared the pages of Jane Jacob's "The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Kunstler's "The Geography of Nowhere", or William H. Whyte's "City: Rediscovering the Center". Looks like we have some educating to do.
This is just one aspect of a bifurcation of dreams, visions, thoughts, use of technology, transportation choices, and the definition, if any of that often used term of - placemaking. It seems as though gap between these ideas and experiences (James Kunstler is just one of many) that I have experienced in working with both older and younger citizens just keeps getting bigger. I plan to write on this more in the future since it is a trend that I see becoming more prevalent every day.
Here in the capitol of the Silicon Valley, in an advisory committee meeting last month we were trying to find ways to get the city's bike plan in the hand of citizens. One not so young member interjected, "How about advertising in the phone book", on which I replied, "What's a phonebook?"