Online Opinion gets New Urbanism wrong again!

It amazes me that I was nearly taken in by this Online Opinion paper, that it even disturbed me for 5 minutes! When I realized the fundamental flaw, I laughed out loud. The fundamental flaw is that it analyses what is, not what could be. For example:

What is a house?
Is it a whopping ugly McMansion, sucking down the juice from the electricity grid as it tries to power a 10 horsepower enormous great central air-conditioner? Or is it an Earth-Ship built from old tyres and earth and is totally off the grid and Co2 neutral?

What is an apartment? Is it a communist block era monster like the Morehead Street Redfern Housing Commission blocks? Or is it the eco-apartments of Christie Walk, which my sister-in-law helped design to be low Co2 and yet still high density? Is the apartment single use residential, or does it mix and match according to local community needs with some commercial, some residential, some day-care and even educational?

What is density? Is it ugly single use apartments crammed around one railway station, where all residents have to commute every day away from the residential apartments into the CBD? Or is it multi-use, with a large percent of residents finding work within walking distance, freeing up the rail to move goods, not people?

What is a city? Is it a huge bland sea of McMansions from bland suburban horizon to bland suburban horizon, built on the premise of cheap oil and the motor car? Or is it a dense arrangement of exciting trendy diversity of use and functionality?

Does it freight all food by truck from distant farms, or integrate food production into the New Urbanist local structure? (See “Village-Town” movie presentation to NSW University).

Criticising existing apartment arrangements has its place, but lets be honest and see this paper for what it is: a dishonest attempt to settle the consciences of those who would continue to peddle McMansions and a city plan dependent on the motorcar. The ONLY real question is how to move into a mix of New Urbanism, ecocity CBD and Village Town as fast as possible as Peak Oil hits.

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