Friday, May 7, 2010

Oz Cities

"An ideal city provides the basic necessities for all its residents, works to enhance the lives of everyone, and works to ensure a desirable level of freedom and creativity. Tolerance of drug use, sexual freedom, green lifestyles, and increased use of public transportation help to reduce many of the 'social problems' faced by many cities."

John Gilderbloom and Matt Hanka, "Thinking About the Ideal City, Sustain, Fall/Winter 2009/2010.
No mention of civitas for the ideal city -- the role of citizens and democratic decision-making. The ideal city -- whoever that is -- runs the show and provides all the basics along with big doses of creativity. A silly image comes to mind of a toga-attired Richard Florida behind the Oz curtain pulling the strings for creative dream cities.

The policy recommendations for dealing with those pesky urban social problems are right out a retired 1960s playbook. Are these really the answers we've been searching for all these years? What a list! I wonder why the powers just don't come out and say that only bicycles will be allowed.

Ideal cities like utopias may be dangerous inventions.

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