CKA Forums
Login 
canadian forums
bottom
 
 
Canadian Forums

Author Topic Options
Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
Profile
Posts: 12434
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:37 am
 


Individualist wrote:
You seem to confuse urbanite (someone happily living in a dense city core) with an urbanist (an urbanite who has elevated his/her personal lifestyle preferences into moral imperatives). It is only the latter I have an issue with. An urbanite chooses to live a more collectivistic lifestyle, and I am happy when people get to live as they choose. But urbanism is an authoritarian ideology that targets those living less collectivist lifestyles, and seeks to use city planning as an instrument of social engineering.

YAY! We have a 2nd year Poli-Sci/Soc major onboard. You must have nailed the midterm.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
 Calgary Flames
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 27547
PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:58 am
 


I don't know about the collectivist part but there's certainly an anti-suburbs mentality at Calgary's city hall. It's combined with a feature supporting high density, even in areas that weren't designed for them. In the last five years there's been three public golf courses shut down and the land filled up with high-density housing, all in places where the roads aren't designed for adding another 10000 to 20000 people and their vehicles into a confined area. And there's at least one more course where the city already tried and failed to shut it down and yet another they're greedily eyeing in order to get their hands on that sweet development money. These are all courses that were/are public-access too, that were designed for the communities they were built in, and provided a valuable set of green spaces especially for water fowl. The city doesn't seem to care though. I imagine if they did have the same power as the USSR, instead of being hamstrung by annoying things like laws, they'd bulldoze every green space in this town just to add more of those oh-so-"exciting!" townhouse and apartment condos.

So, yeah, there's definitely an us-vs-them ideology at work in most of our cities. Wouldn't extend it as far as being the same as the Holodomor but there's definitely a war of some sort going on.


Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
Profile
Posts: 1068
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 11:20 am
 


Thanos wrote:
I don't know about the collectivist part but there's certainly an anti-suburbs mentality at Calgary's city hall. It's combined with a feature supporting high density, even in areas that weren't designed for them. In the last five years there's been three public golf courses shut down and the land filled up with high-density housing, all in places where the roads aren't designed for adding another 10000 to 20000 people and their vehicles into a confined area. And there's at least one more course where the city already tried and failed to shut it down and yet another they're greedily eyeing in order to get their hands on that sweet development money. These are all courses that were/are public-access too, that were designed for the communities they were built in, and provided a valuable set of green spaces especially for water fowl. The city doesn't seem to care though. I imagine if they did have the same power as the USSR, instead of being hamstrung by annoying things like laws, they'd bulldoze every green space in this town just to add more of those oh-so-"exciting!" townhouse and apartment condos.


Well I don't know about the USSR, but shutting down golf courses was a move clearly taken out of the Hugo Chavez playbook. Maybe Nenshi thinks of golf as a "bourgeois game" as well.

Quote:
So, yeah, there's definitely an us-vs-them ideology at work in most of our cities. Wouldn't extend it as far as being the same as the Holodomor but there's definitely a war of some sort going on.


As I've pointed out, urbanists lack some of the markers of the traditional "left". They seem fine with small business and entrepreneurship, particular if such activity involves the "creative economy". They're not for the abolition of private property, but seem determined to have fewer people enjoying it. Perhaps they're playing a long game. Kill the dream of the broad-based "ownership society", and then go after the remaining owners.

When trying to convince outsiders of the merits of dense, car-free urbanism, they tend of focus on the (somewhat valid) environmental and economic arguments against sprawl. But when they talk amongst themselves, they seem more fixated on forcing strangers to socially interact, compelling people to exercise, and generally using built form to manipulate human behaviour. In that light, comparisons to the Soviets start to make sense. In fact, a Soviet-era book on city planning, "The Ideal Communist City" could, with a few revisions, serve nicely as a text for the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13758
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 1:43 pm
 


"Urbanists don't have any of the hallmarks of the left but since I'm a right winger and I don't like them, blah blah blah SOCIALISM!!"

Lame.


Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
Profile
Posts: 1068
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:11 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
"Urbanists don't have any of the hallmarks of the left but since I'm a right winger and I don't like them, blah blah blah SOCIALISM!!"

Lame.


Ah, another substantive contribution from BeaverFever. What did that take you, five seconds?

I hope you're not operating under the assumption that your heckling is a deterrent. Quite the opposite, I'm afraid.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13758
PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:54 am
 


Individualist wrote:
BeaverFever wrote:
"Urbanists don't have any of the hallmarks of the left but since I'm a right winger and I don't like them, blah blah blah SOCIALISM!!"

Lame.


Ah, another substantive contribution from BeaverFever. What did that take you, five seconds?

I hope you're not operating under the assumption that your heckling is a deterrent. Quite the opposite, I'm afraid.



Ok, you want a thoughtful critique? Here's one. I've highlighted the bullshit from your latest post. All you've done is take an innocuous and in your words "somewhat valid" idea and make it seem sinister by needlessly inserting words like "forcing" and "compelling".


Quote:
When trying to convince outsiders of the merits of dense, car-free urbanism, they tend of focus on the (somewhat valid) environmental and economic arguments against sprawl. But when they talk amongst themselves, they seem more fixated on forcing strangers to socially interact, compelling people to exercise, and generally using built form to manipulate human behaviour. In that light, comparisons to the Soviets start to make sense. In fact, a Soviet-era book on city planning, "The Ideal Communist City" could, with a few revisions, serve nicely as a text for the New Urbanism and Smart Growth movements.


And then for good measure tacking on some empty mumbo-jumbo about communism because if you don't like something, it must be "communism", right? That's the catch-all insult of right-wingers:

"The city rejected my request to put in a park bench at the local park. Communist theory forces everyone to stand so everybody is equal!"

"These McDonald's fries are cold! You know who else forced people to eat cold potatoes? Stalin!"


Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
Profile
Posts: 1068
PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:28 am
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Ok, you want a thoughtful critique? Here's one. I've highlighted the bullshit from your latest post. All you've done is take an innocuous and in your words "somewhat valid" idea and make it seem sinister by needlessly inserting words like "forcing" and "compelling".


I salute the effort here. I wish you gave us a bit more insight to what your views on the urban-suburban divide and its various battlegrounds (housing, modes of transportation, "public realm", lifestyles, etc.) instead of just attacking my ideas, but its a good start.

I use words like "forcing" and "compelling" very deliberately, because that is exactly the line I draw between benign attempts to influence and more heavy-handed attempts to control. Ironically, this generation of city planners that has built a cult around the ideas of Jane Jacobs lack the very pragmatism and ability to confound ideologues that pretty much defined the woman. They are every bit as authoritarian (at least) as the earlier generation of modernist "master planners" (e.g. Robert Moses, Le Corbusier) they reject and rail against.

By comparing them to the Soviets, I was not saying that I picture Jennifer Keesmaat, Brent Toderian or Richard Florida putting people in gulags for liking SUVs and detached houses. Although I'm not so sure about Christopher Hume. ;-) I was referring to the general authoritarianism (often obscured by deceptive rhetoric about "increasing choice" in transportation and lifestyle), that typifies this form of urbanism.

Much is made of the fact that a large percentage of millenials are rejecting car ownership (in some cases not even getting driver's licenses), embracing cycling as a primary form of transport, and rejecting low density suburbs in favour of living in small apartments/condos where the streets and parks become your backyard (and dining room, and entertainment centre). If as a consequence of this generational shift, the demand for cars and car-related infrastructure decline to the point where maintaining the current road and highway system become impractical, I will accept that as a consequence of bottom-up change based on the aggregation of individual lifestyle and consumption decisions.

But urban planners and activists trying to make cars go away by a deliberate campaign of frustrating, stigmatizing and impoverishing those who choose to drive cross the coercion line. The fact that these people haven't won their war on the car yet doesn't mean they're not fighting one, or that their ultimate goal isn't still the end of the automobile and the suburb. They're trying to achieve through frog-in-the-pot incrementalism what they know they can't propose outright (e.g. the effective banning of automobiles in cities). That's how someone like Keesmaat managed to keep her job under Rob Ford, and now John Tory. In hands of these people, narrowing and eliminating car lanes in favour of "active transport" are weapons against the car, just as infill, upzoning and intensification are weapons against the suburban lifestyle.

No, these urbanist would-be central planners as nowhere near as authoritarian as the Soviets were. But I would argue that they are even more collectivist. Anti-car urbanists make it pretty plain when they referring to cars making people "more individiualistic". Given my user name, you can understand my confusion at someone labelling that as a problem. But that's what they really hate about cars. "Yes, they're pollution belching machines that kill pedestrians and cyclists, but the real problem is that people who get behind the wheel start thinking of themselves as individuals with their own interests and rights instead of just units of society, and that just makes it harder for us busybody know-it-alls to tell them how to live. Can't have that!"

The war isn't really on cars, big box stores, single-use zoning or single family homes. Those are just the hills urbanists are looking to take. Their real war is on the concept of the individual citizen as a distinct entity with its own independent decision-making capacity. To them, each of us is only a data point, a game piece.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13758
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:26 am
 


Wow, you could have said that with a lot fewer words.

Take one drive through downtown Toronto and you will realize that we have gone beyond the limit of what we can provide for people driving in individual cars. The population keeps growing, but we are out of places to park, the streets are gridlocked, and the roads can't be expanded because they are lined with skyscrapers.

Not to mention pollution, climate change, etc. and as you mentioned previously, suburbs are a hugely inefficient use of resources, public services, and increasingly scarce supply of arable land.

Everywhere in the developed world, planners have to plan for things, they don't just happen. Even your precious suburbs were centrally planned developments and they continue to employ planners. It's only in the dictatorships where things occur with virtually no planning because they're simply the impulsive decree of the dictator. The other place where planning doesn't occur is in failed states like Somalia, where every aspect of life is just chaos.


Don't like it? Stay in the burbs and don't come downtown. You're not being "forced" to live an urban lifestyle anymore than horse-and-buggy riders were "forced" to start driving automobiles.

Lastly, your whole bullshit about "they" being secretly motivated by some kind deep-seated hatred of "individuals" or some love of something you call "collectivism" is just idiotic and doesn't make any sense. That's not how human being work. You should just drop that, it doesn't flatter you, it just makes you look like some simplistic ideologue who doesn't understand the world in general or the people in it.


Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
Profile
Posts: 1068
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:13 am
 


This is better, by the way. You've given me a sense of your perspective.

BeaverFever wrote:
Wow, you could have said that with a lot fewer words.

Take one drive through downtown Toronto and you will realize that we have gone beyond the limit of what we can provide for people driving in individual cars. The population keeps growing, but we are out of places to park, the streets are gridlocked, and the roads can't be expanded because they are lined with skyscrapers.


That is not an accident. That is by design. The Greenbelt, and other policies around development in the city, brought about that result. It being impractical to drive isn't a by-product. It was one of the goals. But it's not enough, because Keesmaat and company keep trying to find ways to narrow or close off car lanes entirely, hoping the frog in the pot won't notice (too much).

Quote:
Not to mention pollution, climate change, etc. and as you mentioned previously, suburbs are a hugely inefficient use of resources, public services, and increasingly scarce supply of arable land.


These impacts can be mitigated in ways that don't change the essential character of the suburbs. And If there are externalities to be recovered, that can be worked out too. But we're dealing with a dogmatic group of people who, I'm sorry, have an ideological agenda aimed at the "individualism" they see as inherent in car culture and the suburban lifestyle, if you're curious, Googling a bit will confirm this. I can provide links as well if you're so inclined.

Quote:
Everywhere in the developed world, planners have to plan for things, they don't just happen. Even your precious suburbs were centrally planned developments and they continue to employ planners. It's only in the dictatorships where things occur with virtually no planning because they're simply the impulsive decree of the dictator. The other place where planning doesn't occur is in failed states like Somalia, where every aspect of life is just chaos.


There's a distinction to be made between planning where people live and planning how they live. The designers of suburban communities don't really care how much or how little people exercise or interact with strangers or buy local food or value diversity.

Quote:
Don't like it? Stay in the burbs and don't come downtown. You're not being "forced" to live an urban lifestyle anymore than horse-and-buggy riders were "forced" to start driving automobiles.


If the urbanists were content to leave me and those like me free to live our chosen lifestyle, I'd do just as you say. But social engineers don't believe in "live and let live". For them it's "my way or the highway" (oops, sorry, I meant "my way or the bike path")

Quote:
Lastly, your whole bullshit about "they" being secretly motivated by some kind deep-seated hatred of "individuals" or some love of something you call "collectivism" is just idiotic and doesn't make any sense. That's not how human being work. You should just drop that, it doesn't flatter you, it just makes you look like some simplistic ideologue who doesn't understand the world in general or the people in it.


Not everything is about ideology. But some things completely are, even if their exponents protest otherwise.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13758
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:22 pm
 


I'd argue with you but you don't present any arguments to rebut it's just hor air opinion "I don't like it therefore it's all an evil plot!"

How Cities Make Us Sick



Offline
Forum Elite
Forum Elite
Profile
Posts: 1068
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:23 am
 


BeaverFever wrote:
I'd argue with you but you don't present any arguments to rebut it's just hor air opinion "I don't like it therefore it's all an evil plot!"


At least my "hot air opinion" is about something actually political, and not just commentary on other posters. Still, I appreciate your attempt to step out of your comfort zone. Listen, I don't really post here frequently enough for you to be so annoyed.

I've explained why I find urbanism so troubling. It's not just about trying to change how we design, buildings, streets and neighbourhoods. It's about trying to change people through the design of those things. While the goal of the old Laurentian elites was to concentrate power in Southern Ontario and Quebec, that of the new urban elites is to concentrate power in dense urban cores, and to impose the dominant values in those areas on the others. If suburbanites are keep-to-themselves individualists, then manipulate their living environment to force communalism, stranger-to-stranger interaction and the new "live small" asceticism on them.

Suburban (and rural) Canadians are the new westerners, and Adam Vaughan is positioning himself to become the new Marc Lalonde.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
User avatar
Profile
Posts: 13758
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:02 pm
 


Nah, you're just another internet crackpot.


Offline
CKA Uber
CKA Uber
Profile
Posts: 12434
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 4:26 pm
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Nah, you're just another internet crackpot.

I'd really like to know what these nuts do when they're not posting their craziness here. Maybe it's just my fascination with labour markets, but "What do these people do for a living?", I wonder.


Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 43 posts ]  Previous  1  2  3



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests



cron
 
     
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner.
The comments are property of their posters, all the rest © Canadaka.net. Powered by © phpBB.