The late urban writer, Jane Jacobs, in her 1961 book, offered this critique of a 19th-century planner who sought to reduce inner-city blight by creating low-density garden cities: He was creating "very nice towns if you were docile and had no plans of your own… As in all utopias, the right to have plans of any significance belonged only to the planner in charge." She was writing as the nation's urban-renewal efforts were taking hold, including California's own version of it, known as "redevelopment." As riots spread across the nation, planners sought to revive inner cities with massive public investments and modern housing complexes — while wiping away dilapidated buildings. But those sterile housing complexes came to epitomize the failures of that era's Great Society. Redevelopment in California, a financing mechanism that let cities float debt and shower the proceeds on "blighted" areas, writes Steven Greenhut, morphed into a scheme for transferring downtown properties to developers, and eventually a means for suburban cities to subsidize auto malls and shopping centers.
So far, it's been silence from The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and others.
That's a huge concern as forecasters expect the U.S. unemployment rate in the months to come to surpass that seen during the depths of the Great Depression.
Social distancing and lockdowns appear to be working to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
"You cannot just decide you want to sell groceries," said Barbara Ferrer, the director of L.A. County Public Health.
The agency concludes that the possible benefits outweigh the risks.