ruminations about architecture and design

Monday, November 15, 2010

kotkin and florida

Joel Kotkin and Richard Florida are two urban theorists who have some diverging viewpoints about the landscape of modern culture. Florida is a big fan of cities like Boston, because he sees a strong entreprenurial infrastructure that can promote economic improvement beyond its borders. Kotkin is a big fan of cities like Houston, because he sees a business friendly melting pot with strong growth potential.
Although they sometimes draw different conclusions about the impact of demographics and land use patterns, they share a methodology that marks a refreshing change from some of the great urban visionaries of the early 20th century. Planners and architects once thought that they had the power to dictate development patterns and lifestyle choices. The New Urbanists are perhaps the unwilling heirs to this mode of thinking. Kotkin and Florida make pronouncements about the future based on patterns that they see in the present. Their projections occasionally have the air of inevitability, but they have to keep up appearances.
This is an image of the Broadacre City plan conceived by Wright.

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