Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Not the kind of time shifting/mixed primary use that Jane Jacobs had in mind...

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.

But taking money for AIDS services to build a strip club ("D.C. sues nonprofit, alleges misuse of HIV/AIDS funds to renovate night club" from the Post) or a charter school desperate for funds in Miami operating as a club at night ("A K-8 school by day, adult club by night?: A Miami-Dade charter school is in trouble with the school district, accused of having bawdy, after-hours parties on its South Miami Heights campus" from the Miami Herald) are not likely what Jane Jacobs had in mind.

The privatization movement is sadly more focused on figuring out how to benefit from public financing than it is on providing quality services.

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