May 21, 2014

"There is nothing about our cities that is inevitable or unchangeable."

It amazes me how often people assume that the built environment, the way their cities look and function, is purely the result of "market forces" and that those pesky planners are just trying to force people to live differently. The reality is that many of the laws related to land use and housing are geared toward compelling one type of built environment and limiting another and thereby excluding genuine choice for people. 
You could argue that we live in a free market country. That all of our decisions are based on what people want - that Conway is sprawled because the people want the city to be sprawled, and that Conway is automobile dependent because people want to drive. 
That is a bunch of baloney. 

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