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McRoma

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  • Todd Edelman
    Ciao, ciao... now I have a question: What can a carfree city (a living entity with free will, after all) do to prevent being globalised ? I realise there are
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 26, 2005
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      Ciao, ciao... now I have a question: What can a
      carfree city (a living entity with free will, after
      all) do to prevent being "globalised"? I realise there
      are some inherent self-protections, such as small
      stores and of course no cars, but without protections
      etc there will be Carfree Starbucks and McPedestrian
      McDonalds, etc etc.... is this a concern, or is
      "content" a separate issue?


      Rome's disappearing shops and cafes


      By Jeremy Bowen
      BBC News, Rome

      People in Britain often lament the changes in the
      nation's towns and cities, as more and more national
      and international chain stores, banks and coffee
      outlets force out local businesses and city centres
      all seem to look the same. But this is not just a
      British phenomenon. Jeremy Bowen says that Rome is
      also yielding to the relentless march of
      globalisation.

      <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/4619383.stm>



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    • Simon Baddeley
      This is a poignant piece - this one by Bowen on Rome .. all those people in the nice shops being 60+ .. but globalisation catches us like rabbits in
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 26, 2005
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        This is a poignant piece - this one by Bowen on Rome .. all those people in
        the nice shops being 60+ .. but "globalisation" catches us like rabbits in
        headlights. Does Bowen mean only the obvious problems of advanced capitalism
        or does he also mean "I'm getting older"?

        Certain businesses we like for their uniqueness. When the owners retire or
        die they go. Their children have other plans. But you don't seriously want
        the chain store artifice of "family style business" or the "Soul Food
        Counter" in the supermarket, the cottage in the mall.

        All of us when we age will see changes invisible to the younger, who tires
        at our regrets as we of our parents'. Todd's right. We'll indeed have
        Carfree McDs and Starbucks as a product of a wired global economy. Don't
        waste your time on such regrets.

        The things we seek are not golden pasts but decent futures. I loved steam
        trains but don't patronise heritage railways (loving real steam trains in my
        youth. I don't watch tall ships though a great sailing ship was probably one
        of the most beautifully technologies human's ever invented) wanting
        efficient finely designed hi-tech urban rapid transit; wanting fine locally
        grown food not for nostalgia but because it is as ageless and beautiful as
        fine music and great voices and talented prose. If we invent modern sailing
        ships by enlarging the hi-tech principles of Ellen McArthur's catamaran or
        airships that are truly for for purpose I will be the first to use them.

        Change inevitable and varied. Things will survive and other things
        disappear. They cannot be preserved though some times conserved. Cathedrals
        become museums and umbrellas for myriad community projects and big urban
        ceremonies. Fine municipal buildings may become hotels or private offices or
        homes or theatres. These losses will be sad for those old enough to have
        happy memories of their earlier function. We must resign ourselves to a
        pattern of variegated ever shifting processes. The vital thing is the
        principles woven into the pattern.

        What we are trying to achieve with the idea of carfree cities is an
        infrastructure within which the general features who's passing Bowen regrets
        can be initiated, can in some cases continue, and in others survive.

        What is it that Bowen regrets losing? He identifies a particular shop or
        even set of shops or eating places - but what is the higher order of that
        need and desire? That is what carfree cities (among others) is exploring.
        That is all we can design - an infrastructure of possibilities that have
        been closed down by our present ignorance of how we ruin our surroundings.

        If we could clearly imagine what we wanted we might be preparing it to be
        preserved in aspic. That is my concern about Venice. My Venice disappeared
        300 years ago. Joel is capturing the desires realised among this city's
        multitudinous transient visitors. What is that they imagine? How can what is
        imagined be made real? What do these tourists enjoy which is not enjoyed by
        younger Venetians migrating in great numbers to the undistinguished polluted
        cities of Mestre and Marghera? Carfree Cities seeks to identify, reinvent
        and transfer features which are for the time being no more than romantic
        nostalgic fleeting desires off which the lingering population of Venice
        makes a living. How can we get the yearning of tourists into the assumptions
        of settlers?

        Simon


        On 26/6/05 17:28, "Todd Edelman" <traintowardsthefuture@...> wrote:

        > Ciao, ciao... now I have a question: What can a
        > carfree city (a living entity with free will, after
        > all) do to prevent being "globalised"? I realise there
        > are some inherent self-protections, such as small
        > stores and of course no cars, but without protections
        > etc there will be Carfree Starbucks and McPedestrian
        > McDonalds, etc etc.... is this a concern, or is
        > "content" a separate issue?
        >
        >
        > Rome's disappearing shops and cafes
        >
        >
        > By Jeremy Bowen
        > BBC News, Rome
        >
        > People in Britain often lament the changes in the
        > nation's towns and cities, as more and more national
        > and international chain stores, banks and coffee
        > outlets force out local businesses and city centres
        > all seem to look the same. But this is not just a
        > British phenomenon. Jeremy Bowen says that Rome is
        > also yielding to the relentless march of
        > globalisation.
        >
      • Jym Dyer
        ... =v= This business about the youth tiring of their elders regrets is itself a marketing ploy, adapted from the 1960s generation gap (itself something of
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 26, 2005
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          > All of us when we age will see changes invisible to the
          > younger, who tires at our regrets as we of our parents'.
          > Todd's right. We'll indeed have Carfree McDs and Starbucks
          > as a product of a wired global economy. Don't waste your
          > time on such regrets.

          =v= This business about the youth tiring of their elders'
          regrets is itself a marketing ploy, adapted from the 1960s
          "generation gap" (itself something of an overhyped trend).
          Which of course means it's like totally 40 years ago, and
          youngsters should be tired of *it*.

          =v= I'm less concerned with nostalgic poignancy than with the
          material consequences of a trend. Just because something is a
          new change doesn't meant it's progress (though new changes do
          get hyped as progress). The global economy was billed as
          increasing choices and diversity, but having megachains
          encroaching on cultural Vavilov zones is quite the opposite.
          That's an issue of consequence, not how old this or that
          commentator is.
          <_Jym_>
        • Dan Kliman
          Personally, I feel that for the purposes of this list, so long as the Starbucks is car free, it is fine. That is not to say that is OK in the grand scheme of
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 26, 2005
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            Personally, I feel that for the purposes of this list,
            so long as the Starbucks is car free, it is fine.
            That is not to say that is OK in the grand scheme of
            things, but it is not related to car-freedom.

            As a friend of mine in Chicago once said with regards
            to Critical Mass, "From the perspective of Critical
            Mass, I don't care if someone robs a bank and murders
            someone, so long as s/he uses a bike as a getaway
            vehicle."

            This is an extreme example, but it drives home the
            point that something might be important, have value as
            an issue etc, but it is not the issue of this venue.

            Dan

            http://www.geocities.com/dankliman
            http://www.sorryeverybody.com
          • Simon Baddeley
            Notwithstanding I wouldn t want my points interpreted as roll-over and accept. There s a responsibility to critique the process we too easily refer to as
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 27, 2005
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              Notwithstanding I wouldn't want my points interpreted as "roll-over" and
              accept. There's a responsibility to critique the process we too easily refer
              to as "globalisation". The economist Joseph Stiglitz is one of many
              mainstream analysts critics who can aid this understanding of what may be
              wrong with McRoma and more important what can be changed about nit for the
              better.

              http://www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/bwi-wto/wbank/stigindx.htm

              My point was the difference between change that is regrettable because as we
              get older so many of our landmarks alter - sometimes for the worse - and
              change which is resistible and deleterious and not simply the focus of
              nostalgic regret. Sometimes of course these are the same. I used the tourist
              economy of Venice as an example. It is not a living vibrant city of the kind
              I'd envisage as exemplary but there are design and building principles
              contained in it from which we can learn.

              I always carry out my crimes on foot and by bicycle. You know it makes
              sense.

              S

              On 27/6/05 07:26, "Dan Kliman" <dankliman@...> wrote:

              > Personally, I feel that for the purposes of this list,
              > so long as the Starbucks is car free, it is fine.
              > That is not to say that is OK in the grand scheme of
              > things, but it is not related to car-freedom.
              >
              > As a friend of mine in Chicago once said with regards
              > to Critical Mass, "From the perspective of Critical
              > Mass, I don't care if someone robs a bank and murders
              > someone, so long as s/he uses a bike as a getaway
              > vehicle."
              >
              > This is an extreme example, but it drives home the
              > point that something might be important, have value as
              > an issue etc, but it is not the issue of this venue.
              >
              >
            • J.H. Crawford
              ... I think this is more important than that. I see some of these businesses as a part of the local hearth for community. Mega chains do not have the health of
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 27, 2005
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                Simon remarked:

                >All of us when we age will see changes invisible to the younger, who tires
                >at our regrets as we of our parents'. Todd's right. We'll indeed have
                >Carfree McDs and Starbucks as a product of a wired global economy. Don't
                >waste your time on such regrets.

                I think this is more important than that. I see some of these
                businesses as a part of the local hearth for community. Mega chains
                do not have the health of the community on their radar--it isn't
                THEIR community, and they could care less. When these businesses
                are operated by people who live in them, the community functions
                come almost by themselves.

                >Change inevitable and varied. Things will survive and other things
                >disappear. They cannot be preserved though some times conserved. Cathedrals
                >become museums and umbrellas for myriad community projects and big urban
                >ceremonies. Fine municipal buildings may become hotels or private offices or
                >homes or theatres. These losses will be sad for those old enough to have
                >happy memories of their earlier function. We must resign ourselves to a
                >pattern of variegated ever shifting processes. The vital thing is the
                >principles woven into the pattern.

                The functions of cafes and lunch counters are timeless, at least
                for as long as we drink tea and coffee and eat lunch. Their social
                functions are equally timeless and equally important.

                >What we are trying to achieve with the idea of carfree cities is an
                >infrastructure within which the general features who's passing Bowen regrets
                >can be initiated, can in some cases continue, and in others survive.

                The carfree city, as I envision it, is the perfect hearth for
                community businesses. I believe that they are placed at a
                relative competitive advantage over chains and certainly
                hope that this is the case.

                >What is it that Bowen regrets losing? He identifies a particular shop or
                >even set of shops or eating places - but what is the higher order of that
                >need and desire?

                A lot of it has to do with places that are unique to the
                community, that are not the same in Bangor and Bangkok.

                >That is what carfree cities (among others) is exploring.
                >That is all we can design - an infrastructure of possibilities that have
                >been closed down by our present ignorance of how we ruin our surroundings.

                Yes, but I do think that it is important to have as an
                explicit goal the fostering of local businesses and the
                placing of big chains in as unfavorable a position as
                can reasonably be arranged. Most of this comes by itself--
                telling WalMart that they can't have a store out on the
                ring road because there isn't going to BE a ring road is
                part of this. They can't operate without the ring road,
                because they need such an enormous customer base. The smaller
                operations, which have been driven out of business in droves
                by the international chains, can again compete in an urban
                situation where giantism is not supported.

                >If we could clearly imagine what we wanted we might be preparing it to be
                >preserved in aspic. That is my concern about Venice. My Venice disappeared
                >300 years ago.

                Funny, mine is still there! ;-)

                >Joel is capturing the desires realised among this city's
                >multitudinous transient visitors. What is that they imagine? How can what is
                >imagined be made real? What do these tourists enjoy which is not enjoyed by
                >younger Venetians migrating in great numbers to the undistinguished polluted
                >cities of Mestre and Marghera?

                Venetians still very much enjoy their city and clearly
                understand what makes it so different from anywhere else.
                The treasure it. They are moving to the mainland in order
                to rent their apartments to tourists for enough money that
                they ought to be able to live quite comfortably on the
                rental income alone. Also, some of the day-to-day practicalities
                in Venice are difficult, so they want cars to manage these
                tasks. That's because the transport system in Venice is slow
                and expensive. It's the one thing about Venice that I would
                change if I could.

                >Carfree Cities seeks to identify, reinvent
                >and transfer features which are for the time being no more than romantic
                >nostalgic fleeting desires off which the lingering population of Venice
                >makes a living. How can we get the yearning of tourists into the assumptions
                >of settlers?

                That's the next project. Begins with market research.

                Regards,




                ------ ### -----
                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
              • Debra Efroymson
                For those of you who haven t yet, please read Fast Food Nation--it does talk about how cars destroy the landscape, but also how lack of independent businesses
                Message 7 of 9 , Jul 3, 2005
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                  For those of you who haven't yet, please read Fast
                  Food Nation--it does talk about how cars destroy the
                  landscape, but also how lack of independent businesses
                  ruins so much else that is important. The trend of
                  industrialization and everything mass produced is
                  something we, on our bicycles, in our car-free cities,
                  should be fighting--isn't it?
                  Anima


                  > We'll indeed have
                  > >Carfree McDs and Starbucks as a product of a wired
                  > global economy. Don't
                  > >waste your time on such regrets.


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                • manfredstrobl
                  i think almost everyone here agrees on anything written before: -cars and urban sprawl destroy -lifestyles in the rich coutries kill and make obese -in most
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jul 3, 2005
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                    i think almost everyone here agrees on anything written before:
                    -cars and urban sprawl destroy
                    -lifestyles in the rich coutries kill and make obese
                    -in most cities pollution from cars is too high for a healthy life


                    now what can we do about it?
                    how can we change it to the better?
                    what is the recommended action to be taken by anyone individually?

                    it would be the logic consequence of those facts to move to a place
                    that is less dominated by cars and urban sprawl where the air is
                    clean, public transportation works, unspoiled nature is easily
                    accessible and where biking is the priority. where is that place?

                    curious about solutions
                    manfred



                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Debra Efroymson
                    <anima1205@y...> wrote:
                    > For those of you who haven't yet, please read Fast
                    > Food Nation--it does talk about how cars destroy the
                    > landscape, but also how lack of independent businesses
                    > ruins so much else that is important. The trend of
                    > industrialization and everything mass produced is
                    > something we, on our bicycles, in our car-free cities,
                    > should be fighting--isn't it?
                    > Anima
                    >
                    >
                    > > We'll indeed have
                    > > >Carfree McDs and Starbucks as a product of a wired
                    > > global economy. Don't
                    > > >waste your time on such regrets.
                    >
                    >
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                  • Simon Baddeley
                    The trouble is that the places outside the cities are being turned into faux from cities - with the richest creating eco-sanctuaries on distant islands. Stay
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jul 3, 2005
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                      The trouble is that the places outside the cities are being turned into faux
                      from cities - with the richest creating eco-sanctuaries on distant islands.
                      Stay in the cities and make change there. These lines were written by an old
                      man about those who retreat from the city making the rest of the world one
                      great burb and claiming to save the earth:

                      'Did they think about the skylarks when they built Mayfair
                      on the grazings that ran down to the Shepherd¹s Market?

                      Did they worry about the snipe when they drained the marshes
                      behind St.James¹s Palace to build Belgravia?

                      Where did the kite go when they dug the London sewers?

                      Do the piles they drove down through the beaver¹s dam hold
                      firm the supermarket in Newbury High Street?

                      Who cooked the big trout that lay under the village bridge
                      at Wandsworth? Who feasted on the last salmon that was
                      netted at Tower Hamlets?

                      Now they come to put central heating in the ploughman¹s hovel.

                      They claim the sun that used to bake the hay. And breathe
                      the breeze in which the pointing dog caught a hundred scents.

                      They walk out in trainers and T-shirts that say ³Save the
                      Rain Forest².

                      ³Stand back!² they say. ³We have a right to walk where we please!²

                      But we look where they trod before and shudder for what
                      follows in their footsteps.

                      I said I must write a warning. But I was angry and - as the
                      Japanese say - to be angry is only to make yourself ridiculous.

                      So we will live out our days in the cracks between the
                      concrete. And then they will pour cement on top of us.'

                      But look what a blade of grass can do to concrete. Do not dream of escaping
                      to a new Jerusalem, Build it where we are. "There shall yet old men and old
                      women dwell in the streets ... and every man with his staff in his hand for
                      very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls
                      playing in the streets thereof." Zechariah 8

                      Simon




                      On 3/7/05 20:15, "manfredstrobl" <mstrobl@...> wrote:

                      >
                      > it would be the logic consequence of those facts to move to a place
                      > that is less dominated by cars and urban sprawl where the air is
                      > clean, public transportation works, unspoiled nature is easily
                      > accessible and where biking is the priority. where is that place?
                      >
                      > curious about solutions
                      > manfred
                      >
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