Saturday, April 4, 2009

ruralization of urbanism?

according to Andres Duany, the environmental movement is elevating the value of greenspace and is ruralizing cities. And when you ruralize a city, it becomes a suburb. And suburbs, as we all know, are the root of all evil.

I am skeptical. McHargian environmentalism, while still alive and relevant is not the only strain of environmentalism. Those that emphasize environmental health and or environmental justice tend to be more encompassing and less critical of the fundamental value of the city. While Sustainable South Bronx and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice might be advocating for the 'greening' of the Bronx, I don't think they fully embrace the McHargian disdain for the city. These environmentalists love their neighborhoods and want to make them healthy and sustainable. They understand that their neighborhoods cannot promote public health or support healthy economies without being ecologically sustainable. They are making the Bronx more 'ecological' and the suburbs have nothing to do with it.

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Duany however, is an impressive public speaker. I felt his way of navigating partial information with bits and pieces of theory was brilliant. And convincing. But while good city where you walk vs. bad suburb where you don't is a powerful rhetorical tool, I feel it should be realized the American cities are unlikely to be dense,walkable urban environments and the dream of density belongs across the ocean, and perhaps in Duany's imagination.