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Thread: Anti-urban planning speech

  1. #1

    Anti-urban planning speech

    Hey everyone, I found this video of a speaker from the Cato Institute talking about urban planning in general from a negative standpoint, and thought I'd share it with ya'll.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeUzMpkKBfE

  2. #2
    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    I like the comment posts below. My fav is the one by NgyuenKim, witty.
    "Those who plan do better than those who do not plan, even though they rarely stick to their plan." - Winston Churchill

  3. #3
    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    I got through about three minutes of it. When he said that someone could challenge development solely based on the loss of a viewshed, I thought "no, not really." When he spoke about the onerous planning laws that stymied devleopment in Florida I though "has this guy ever been to Florida?" And when he blamed whether or not people have standing in a court case on "planners" (something that is actually up to judges, the law, and the Constitutition), I turned it off.

    Cate Institute = Applied Ignorance.

  4. #4
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    It saddens me that people like this exist. Having your own opinions is fine, but trying to justify his opinion only validated that he is a moron. The comments below are also somewhat sad, as people truly believe this misinformation.

    We need a lobbying group and a PR campaign that clears up, "property rights" and planners.... ugh.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Wow. Just wow.

    I like how its "the planner" that is the target here and not "the City" or "the County." I didn't realize we were kings! Talk about shooting the messenger...

    So, if this is a ll a sham, what is the motivation on the part of planners and how did they (we) even get a seat at the table to create these problems that we can now employ ourselves to solve? If its really a conspiracy, we've done a pretty crappy job of profiting from it....

    And there are more fat people in the suburbs because fatter people "choose" to live there and not because of any relationship between car-oriented culture and obesity?! This guy is a jacka$$.

    And NgyuenKim's comment rocks.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    My favorite quote about O'Toole (from http://www.wddcorp.com/news/view_news.asp?id=66):

    A Portland, OR major developer Homer Williams opined, “He’s an idiot,” Williams said. “His arguments don’t make any sense, but he gets published a lot.”
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    The %age of people who fall for this hooey is very small. The larger issue is that O'Toole and his ilk are creating, testing, and disseminating talking points for vested interests such as the auto lobby, Private Property Rightists, et al.

    Their arguments are false and filled with logical fallacies and don't take long to shine light on them, immediately afterward they go up in a puff of smoke like vampires in a beam of light. Just keep this in mind when someone tries to trot out one of these "arguments".

  8. #8
    Cyburbian kw5280's avatar
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    Wow, I watched to the point where he completely misrepresented Putnam's Bowling Alone suburb conclusion. The whole purpose of the book was to find what factors have lead to the decline of social capital in America. Putnam addressed the argument that suburbs and the commute associated with living there was the culprit. He concluded it wasn't because the boom in suburbs did not occur at the same time as the decline in social capital. To see O'Toole spin that as an indication the suburbs have tighter community bonds just reflects how narrow-minded he is when examining other people's work. I hate to discredit people for their opinions. I don't like it when others blatantly discredit mine. What I think is at issue here is how O'Toole is using the term "planner" as an umbrella for any stakeholder who has been involved with the built environment. Most of the complaints he has need to be directed toward elected officials and government workers.

    I read an article of his about the failure of light rail. He made a couple of opinionated observations that I thought were valid. But in this speech he is forgetting that planners respond to the social conscious. We are not trying to move people from the suburbs into dense urban cores. We are attempting to find solutions to complaints about pollution, traffic congestion, long commutes, overconsumption of land and a host of other problems. If people were not concerned about these we wouldn't be addressing them.

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    Cyburbian Coragus's avatar
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    This thread includes the third reference to O'Toole's book that I've heard in the last week. I took that as an omen and ordered the book myself.
    Maintaining enthusiasm in the face of crushing apathy.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kw5280 View post
    Wow, I watched to the point where he completely misrepresented Putnam's Bowling Alone suburb conclusion. The whole purpose of the book was to find what factors have lead to the decline of social capital in America. Putnam addressed the argument that suburbs and the commute associated with living there was the culprit. He concluded it wasn't because the boom in suburbs did not occur at the same time as the decline in social capital. To see O'Toole spin that as an indication the suburbs have tighter community bonds just reflects how narrow-minded he is when examining other people's work.
    O'Toole's purposeful quote-mining and false assertions notwithstanding, Putnam's later research may be starting to repudiate his earlier conclusions in BA, BTW.

  11. #11
    To many people, planners are pretty much communists.

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    To many people, planners are pretty much communists.
    That 'many' is still a minority.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    That 'many' is still a minority.
    Perhaps, but that sentiment is actually more common than people might think.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Perhaps, but that sentiment is actually more common than people might think.
    IME that particular ideology lends itself to loudness and energetically acting to spread its minority views far and wide, making it seem common. I would argue most folk just roll their eyes silently at the nuttery and move on. S:N perspective.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Cate Institute = Applied Ignorance.
    Actually, this is from the Von Mises Institute, which is worse. The Cato Institute atleast uses common sense sometimes. The VMI is a group of Libertarians and Anarchists, and a book they published was advocating Monarchy above Democracy

    D'oh!

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