Opportunity is local

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From PPS, Brendan Crain writes:

Looking at cities from what Jan Gehl calls the “airplane scale” is what allows proponents of cut-and-paste urbanism to do what the Modernists did, using lifestyle instead of architecture. Rather than suggesting that the city be reorganized into tower blocks amidst grassy lawns, today’s one-size-fits-allers call for cafes and artisan markets. They are presuming that the city as a whole will benefit from the indiscriminate application of a specific set of amenities. It won’t. Neighborhoods need to define their priorities for themselves; in so doing, they often discover that there are untapped opportunities to grow their own local economies, without needing to import talent from elsewhere. Even if your city’s brand is busted, your community is still capable of re-building itself. As Jane Jacobs once argued, “the best cities are actually federations of great neighborhoods.”

Opportunity is local

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