Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Suburbs, The New Blight.

While discussing what it means to ride bicycles on the New York roadways that master planner Robert Moses spent a lifetime, and lots of sweat and tears and perhaps some blood too, ripping through residential neighborhoods in the five boroughs of NYC, a slogan for this upcoming decade popped into my head ...
Suburbs, The New Blight.  
The core wording is not mine.  It's Samuel Slaton's.  He's at Bike New York.  They are his own words alone, not those of Bike New York in any way.  Bike New York doesn't have an official position about the suburbs.

The core observation is rather genius, if you ask me.  It points out how much time, effort and energy we will spend undoing over the next decade what we spent the last seven decades doing.  And of course, there's also the word "blight".  Hardly a term exists in our urban lexicon that carries the baggage this one has.  Funny to think that now, it's the suburbs that are dragging down the region, not the city. 

Here’s another tidbit from that same conversation:
The urban neighborhoods that people were trying to abandon a generation ago are now the neighborhoods that people are trying to discover ... in order to reinvent them as their own. 
I guess one man’s unpleasant memory is another man’s promising future. It bears asking, what happened in between?