Thursday, January 10, 2008
More on our continuing discussion of urban living from Chris Scaperlanda (JD '09, Texas):
“I think that your points about diversity and economic stratification, more than anything, reflect the lack of diversity that currently exists in most (if any) communities in the US. The market reality is (unfortunately) that when one area of a neighborhood is very nice, the not nice areas become expensive as well. Most New Urban communities plan for a diverse experience by creating some smaller housing with fewer amenities. Aside from reverse economic discrimination, there is not much that the planner can do if the very wealthy are willing to pay top dollar for these smaller spaces. I'm honestly not sure what to do about this problem, but I know it is not unique to Urbanism. In fact, the suburbs were created at least partly for the purpose of separating rich and poor.
Thus, it seems to me, that the argument from economic diversity is not truly an argument against urbanism in any form, but is an argument against forms of economic segregation in whatever setting. Therefore, we need to have two discussion, not one. First, what types of setting (urban, rural, suburban, etc), if any, are more conducive to human flourishing. And, second, assuming an economically integrated community is a good, how do we make any particular setting more economically diverse.”