Monday, May 5, 2008

Urban Resources Vol. 4

Citing a dearth of downtown economic development news nationwide, this edition of Urban Resources will focus on a weekly podcast featuring a renowned author who happens to have written one of my other key urban resources.

The Kunstlercast is brought to us by Duncan Crary of Troy, NY and of course James Howard Kunstler himself. Updated each and every Thursday, the Kunstlercast bills itself as "a weekly talk show about 'the tragic comedy of suburban sprawl.'" I find it to be a little more complex than that. While Jim doesn't shy away from an on point sarcastic swipe at various suburban elements, the first twelve episodes have shown extraordinary depth of thought about the built environment.

Sometimes fielding pre-recorded listener calls as an installment topic, Kunstler proceeds to enlighten the fledgling armchair urbanist with various aspects of contemporary city planning that do and do not serve practical purposes for improving the urban condition from a high-level Jacobsian generalist's view.

Between the plight of the teenage suburbanite, the viability of various proposed alternative energy schemes, the overblown ego of today's prominent "starchitects," and an impassioned urging for city leaders to cease catering the vehicle in business district rehabilitation schemes, Misters Crary and Kunstler have done an excellent job so far covering a lot of the bases of the New Urbanist movement in just twelve 15-minute episodes.

Enjoy the Kunstlercast! Would love to discuss it and what we can take from it and apply to Rochester with any readers of this blog.

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