An email from Rosary Abot (this is a glorious name), in response to the person who asked me about city planning and vocations. I am skeptical of “urban planning” as a concept (who will save us from our solutions? how likely is it that people who specialize in urban planning will have the same priorities as e.g. the children of the poor?) but this thing sounds fascinating. I haven’t had time to listen yet but I’m passing it on to you all in hopes that you will find time before I do:
Eve – Lucien Steil at Notre Dame has some great presentations posted to Academia about human dignity, community, and city design. I think that the one linked below would go a long way toward answering the question from Calvin College (Architecture which hurts, architecture which heals)! In a nutshell, the new solution is an old solution – Citta Slow (Slow City), something closer to the European city, but with all of our planning and learning to help it. It’s a more integrated life that would address the concerns you were discussing at Calvin – but also gives everyone more dignity; he discusses the example of Poundbury in England that has integrated housing of many types and income levels all together. This avoid creating pockets of wealth and poverty; and contrary to what some might think, Poundbury is one of the safest and best cared for places, the most successful site of the national housing trust.