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Thread: First We Kill the Architects: NY Times article on designing a city

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    First We Kill the Architects: NY Times article on designing a city

    From the New York Times: First We Kill the Architects. Photographer Danny Lyon offers ten suggestions for New York City, which are published in a new book, Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York, associated with the The Municipal Art Society/Rockefeller Foundation Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York exhibition that opened yesterday.

    What do you think about Danny Lyon's suggestions?


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    Cyburbian
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    Urban liberal sentimentalism.

    Get rid of the chain stores and the banks, and you've lost a substantial chunk of the local economy.

    Small businesses are more likely to offer sub-par goods and services than a big chain.

    Set aside 10% of land for open space = more soulless concrete plazas and crime ridden parks.

    Kill the architects, however, is an odd one. I assume he's referring to the starchitects who design buildings inappropriate within the surrounding context. On the other hand, most modern buildings not designed by architects tend to be aesthetically displeasing, or at best, generic. Suburbia, for example, and I doubt he's advocating for the suburbanization of manhattan.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    Kill the architects, however, is an odd one. I assume he's referring to the starchitects who design buildings inappropriate within the surrounding context.
    Residential development in New York City outside of Manhattan is generally abysmal. Infill development is dominated by what are called "Fedders houses" - named after the air conditioning company whose name is prominently displayed on the air-conditioning unit sleeves. Apparently, central air conditioning doesn't exist in NYC; external wall-mounted air conditioning units seem to be the norm.




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    Cyburbian Captain Worley's avatar
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    Those are some truly hideous buildings. They all look like Super 8 Motels.
    Navy collier
    USS Cyclops

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    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
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    One of the best justifications for Urban Sprawl I have seen!

    Also, I suspect that the developer (who has the final say on what the architect recommends) got a nice kickback from the airconditioner supplier for being allowed to display the product name.

    The airconditioners with brand names like that would be considered "advertising" in our city, and would not be allowed that way.

    Nice urban power poles.

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    Cyburbian Luca's avatar
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    Most of the suggestions are lame even at the satirical level.

    But I love the title.

    It made me laugh out loud.

    Shoiuld i be worried?
    Life and death of great pattern languages

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    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
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    So he's trying to say that being buddies with ex-cons and crackheads is going to turn then into productive citizens? What is this imaginary "other side"? Actually, I tried that, as an urban liberal, having an ex-con help me on a house project. My dog wouldn't let him near the house. Turns out she had the better character judgement.

    But I do think the locally owned biz and bicycling stuff has some merit.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

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    PennPlanner,

    It sounds like you've had some pretty bad experiences with small business owners. I'd think that Wal-Mart et al. have set the bar for quality so low, it would be easy to surpass them with a little creativity

    Obviously the point of the suggestions is to reduce auto dependency and create communities and neighbourhoods which are more locally-oriented than reliant on global trade networks.

    I'm simplifying the issue, but it seems better to me to buy one's daily bread from a baker down the street than a multinational retailing chain which sources it's product from a large producer with a factory on the other side of the country.

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