After the Storm: Climate Change and Public Works

As Barack Obama takes the oath of office for his second term, Places editor Nancy Levinson argues for an intensified political agenda for architects and urban designers. The longstanding tension between the pressing need for public action and the tenacious culture of privatization remains the critical dilemma of U.S. politics. Nothing underscores the need to resolve this tension — and to commit once again to the ideals of collective purpose and common good — than the accelerating crisis of climate change. “We seem to have lost the political capacity to grapple with the big picture, the long range, the global scale,” Levinson writes. “To a degree we’ve even lost the vocabulary. In design circles it’s as if the perceived failures of mid 20th-century planning — exemplified by top-down urban renewal and personified by the power-brokering Robert Moses — have induced a kind of conceptual paralysis, an inability to formulate the public sector, or public works, in terms not beholden to a discredited history.”

Design Observer (via Planetizen)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s