Mark Nixon4 months ago
When you ask what role politics has influencing the economy, environment, & culture, imagine what kind of landscape we would have today had the Eisenhower administration passed the Interstate Rail Act in 1956(instead of the Interstate Highway Act). When you consider global warming, childhood diabetes/obesity, income stratification you might conclude we need public design ideas that avoid these problems. Our task is to make urban planning fun & a big part of the next economy.
Any hope for anyone trying to connect voter/taxpayer/small business interests with public design ideas that reflect the ideals of our democracy is to get average citizens understand their role as public designers.
By now most Americans understand some of the design failures of sprawl. To some extent we allowed design of the built environment to be heavily influenced by short term market forces(including the politics protecting the status quo - big oil, big auto, corporate franchise America). The difficult job ahead of us is getting America to say no to auto transit land use design(sprawl) & yes to a sustainable future.
Suggested reading: "The Option of Urbanism" Leinberger, "The Great Inversion" Ehrenhalt, "The End of the Suburbs" Gallagher, "Walkable City" Speck