In Death and Life of Great American Cities
, Jane Jacobs discusses "mixed primary uses" as one of the four characteristics of successful cities. The idea is that rather than a bunch of single use pods, using facilities in different ways at different times of day maximizes an efficient use of resources.
The example that remains with me is her complaint of the creation of an "arts district" in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, in turn at that time putting arts uses downtown out of business. She made the point that Oakland didn't have parking resources already extant so that parking would have to be constructed and would remain unused most of the day, to be used at night for arts events.
But downtown arts uses didn't need special parking, because patrons could use existing parking facilities that served office use during the day, so new facilities weren't required.
And I argue for co-location of government facilities and even mixed use facilities, not unlike the Hollywood library, housing, and restaurant facility in Portland.
The privatization movement is sadly more focused on figuring out how to benefit from public financing than it is on providing quality services.
Labels: civic assets, government contracting, government oversight, privatization, provision of public services, urban design/placemaking