Tuesday, December 9

Brooks on Obama on Roads

What just happened here? A week has gone by, and president-elect Obama now sounds like he wants to usher in a new golden era of Interstate construction – and David Brooks is schooling him on the finer points of sustainable urban design. I don’t know whether a) I’ve misread both of these public figures, b) I’m witnessing some seismic shifts in ideological allegiance, or c) I’m just reading too much into too few words.

Anyway, David Brooks has apparently channeled his inner Bobo, dismissing golf courses as passé and embracing coffee shops. He sounds positively visionary about development trends:

People overshot the mark. They moved to the exurbs because they wanted space and order. But once there, they found that they were missing community and social bonds. So in the past years there has been a new trend. Meeting places are popping up across the suburban landscape.”

Given this shift toward community and compact development, now is not the time to make rash infrastructure decisions simply for the creation of jobs.

If, indeed, we are going to have a once-in-a-half-century infrastructure investment, it would be great if the program would build on today’s emerging patterns. It would be great if Obama’s spending, instead of just dissolving into the maw of construction, would actually encourage the clustering and leave a legacy that would be visible and beloved 50 years from now.”


Anonymous said...

Peace be with you

Daniel Nairn said...

... and also with you

LH said...

Daniel, thanks for this link (David Brooks is growing on me) and for your commentary on it. We certainly live in interesting times . . .