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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Don't do it, Louisville!

Portland is the official laughingstock of the nation, but there appears to be no shortage of other communities who want to crowd into the clown car:

Hank V. Savitch, a professor of urban and public affairs at the University of Louisville, said that while some cities were shifting away from accommodating cars, Louisville’s [freeway bridge] project signaled a declaration of faith in suburban-style growth.

"They’re still fighting the last urban war, which was highway development — but that’s not the nature of the future of the city," Professor Savitch said. "It will dissipate energy in the central city, where they should be concentrating investment, and instead draw capital to the outer metropolitan area."

Among the most skeptical of the plan is the grass-roots group 8664, which has drawn nearly 12,000 supporters online. The group is asking that only part of the project be built and that Interstate 64, which runs along the river, be shifted to the edge of downtown so that the city’s sprawling waterfront could be revitalized with "Portland-style vibrancy."

Ah, that "vibrancy." Too funny. No doubt there will be "linchpins," "catalysts," and "iconic" items galore as well. Time for a charrette!

Comments (13)

I honestly believe an entire industry has sprung up just to rape cities.


I'm sure that the planning industry will tell you whenever there is a legitimate rape of a city, the public body has ways of shutting it down.

Perhaps I used the wrong term and should've said I believe an industry has sprung up to convince cities to drink the hemlock.

Panchopdx, so now we have "legitimate rape". That should go over well.

There is such an industry. But the truly scary thing is that most of them believe what they are selling. It makes them that much more dangerous.

Wasn't Louisville the site of a failed (and laughingstock) World's Fair that nearly bankrupted the city?

Have they not learned?

Perhaps that's why we don't hear about world's fairs much anymore... the developers found more gullible dupes and better pickings in the new "urban planning" industry.

Right. Because: Why would anyone want access to a city's riverfront, except on a freeway?

Sure, and the tooth fairy will be there shortly with the money to move the road.

They may have a point. There's a nice waterfront park in L'ville, with restaurants, concert spaces, etc., but the freeway runs through it. They want to spend more money on the bridge renovation to avoid a forest of pillars and gussie up the design to more befit a park. Might make sense long term to spend money on making the park more attractive and hospitable for economic activity instead of doing the cheap and dirty option. I like spending time in Waterfront Park here more than on the freeway hugging side, so I can see where they're coming from.

If they end up with Portland-style vibrancy they'd better hope Obama's minimum wage increase proposal goes through.

Is that why the word workforce housing is being brought up here to go along with the Portland-style vibrancy?

If these other cities plan to follow Portland style, be sure to include in the budget, money for mediators for the many meetings. This has worked in Portland to keep the crowd at bay and on the city agenda.

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