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Canada is running its cities into the ground

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  • Lanyon, Ryan
    An interesting article linking transportation, corporate profits and public policy from one of our city councillors in Ottawa.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 6, 2005
      An interesting article linking transportation, corporate profits and public
      policy from one of our city councillors in Ottawa.

      http://www.clivedoucet.com/maisoneuve_poet.pdf

      Excerpt:

      "It was also through city politics that I came to understand the
      wrong-headedness of our course. Namely, that city politicians are bullied
      by corporate wealth that is constantly moving money from a city's centre to
      its edges in order to underwrite sprawl development. In this way, Ottawa is
      no different from any other North American city. For fifty years, we've
      sponsored the most expensive and unsustainable for of urban growth and
      penalized the least harmful. And I've come to realize that this destructive
      escalation has nothing to do with a lack of good planning or a lack of
      knowledge. There are thousands of books available on the impoverishing
      qualities of strip malls, parking lots, arterials and residential pods.
      Knowledge isn't the problem, the system is. And as long as a link exists
      between money and political power, nothing will change for cities."

      -RL
    • adolfo restrepo
      hi, I find much truth in the excerpt. I also find usefull some of the work of Gramci, Adorno, Habermas and policy analyst Frank Fisher in helping to
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 6, 2005
        hi,

        I find much truth in the excerpt. I also find usefull
        some of the work of Gramci, Adorno, Habermas and
        policy analyst Frank Fisher in helping to understand
        the social trends.

        Although the technological contributions in favor of
        mass transit, dense urban structures and non-petro use
        are helpful, they are to certain extent marginal.
        Most of the arguments play into the prevailing
        consumerist discourse and in doing so often become
        self-defeating.

        All transit infrastructure ventures create social and
        economic winners and losers. Arguments in favor of
        rational transit policy are greatly strenghtened by
        being framed within a social cost and benifit context.
        It is also helpful to factor in ecological
        externalities into feasibility and compartive analysis
        with auto-transit. However, those who feel strongly
        about the rationality of non-auto transit perform the
        greatest service by taking advantage of one of the
        issues with the greatest saliency of the moment. That
        is America's involvement in the War in Iraq.

        Best regards,

        Gustavo Ortiz
        --- "Lanyon, Ryan" <ryan.lanyon@...> wrote:

        >
        > An interesting article linking transportation,
        > corporate profits and public
        > policy from one of our city councillors in Ottawa.
        >
        > http://www.clivedoucet.com/maisoneuve_poet.pdf
        >
        > Excerpt:
        >
        > "It was also through city politics that I came to
        > understand the
        > wrong-headedness of our course. Namely, that city
        > politicians are bullied
        > by corporate wealth that is constantly moving money
        > from a city's centre to
        > its edges in order to underwrite sprawl development.
        > In this way, Ottawa is
        > no different from any other North American city.
        > For fifty years, we've
        > sponsored the most expensive and unsustainable for
        > of urban growth and
        > penalized the least harmful. And I've come to
        > realize that this destructive
        > escalation has nothing to do with a lack of good
        > planning or a lack of
        > knowledge. There are thousands of books available
        > on the impoverishing
        > qualities of strip malls, parking lots, arterials
        > and residential pods.
        > Knowledge isn't the problem, the system is. And as
        > long as a link exists
        > between money and political power, nothing will
        > change for cities."
        >
        > -RL
        >
        >
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