This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
METRO TALK SPOKANE’S ARCHITECTURAL CROSSROAD


and waterfronts (if they are lucky enough to have them), and that the process will be very messy, with ethnic conflict, fights over ownership, massive capital losses and infrastructure that we will be unable to maintain.” The real action and activity, many deep


greenies believe, will happen in our smaller cities and towns, especially places with a meaningful relationship to agriculture. “Some parts of the USA (e.g. the Southwest,


Florida) may become uninhabitable. This is a scenario that does not admit much of a role for conventional bureaucratic planners who sit in air-conditioned offices drawing charts based on reliable metrics,” he added. Architect Tom Angell, Kelly Lerner,


Rathmann, Gage and so many others in Spokane’s green movement “get” Kunstler’s overarching ideas about having to plan cities and communities based on compactness, less dependence on personal transportation, and strong bio-regional planning and economic stability.


Escent LED Lights, downtown Spokane


kill. The term “metastasized” doesn’t go unappreciated as a way to describe many of the abandoned PUDs (planned unit developments) when speaking with experts in development, construction, land use and architecture fields.


The End of Oil [“It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...”] Author, social critic and well-respected “un-credentialed urban planner,”


James


Howard Kunstler, attacks this idea of suburbs obscenely tied to the car. With umbilical cords tapped into Wal-Mart and fed from fast-food chains, suburbs are the bastions of uninspiring architecture and mind-numbing strip malls. Huge homes are spread out farther and farther until infrastructure gets spread gossamer thin. Two of his books, The Geography of Nowhere and The Long Emergency, blew Spokanites away a few years ago when I brought Kunstler to Spokane to speak with students, faculty and the public at Gonzaga, Whitworth, EWU, Spokane Falls Community College and the Community Building about how close to “suburbanization collapse” we might be. (He wasn’t happy with all the buildings downtown getting razed and the preposterous surface parking lots put in their place.) Missing from these panels and talks? Hyper-developers, people from the Rotary


34 SPOKANE CDA • May • 2012


Club, members of Greater Spokane Inc., or city and county elected officials. When I recently asked him to weigh in on sustainable design, urban planning and architecture, Kunstler pulled no punches. “We’ve entered what I call the long


emergency. A kind of political paralysis now reigns and it is very steadily eroding faith in democratic procedures and governance at all levels. We are sure to be disappointed by our techno-grandiose wishes (e.g.


Urbanity, Ghettoization of the “burbs,” Strong Town USA The fact is, cities are where people are


congregating. Big time. The 2011 film Urbanized touches on the good, bad and ugly of our species moving to cities. Those cultural, familial and economic relationships with our globalized brethren are studied. Think 75 percent of all global population centered in cities by the year 2050. It may seem counter-intuitive, but “cities


to


run Walmart, Disney World, Suburbia, and the U.S. Military on ‘renewables’), and the emotional blowback (anger, grievance) from that disappointment is liable to cloud our judgment and make things worse. My own advice – in a period of collapsing complexity – is to make whatever you are doing as simple as possible, with as few techno-interventions as possible.” Kunstler—who is not a big proponent the planning profession—and I spoke


of


a couple of months ago on a wide range of issues. “I do not believe the planning profession as we know it will exist institutionally much longer,” he said. “It rests on assumptions that to me are just not true – for instance, the idea that we can continue living within the current armatures of daily life, including the metroplex city and the suburbs. I believe our big cities will contract severely back to their old centers


are in” and suburbs are, well, “on the outs” for many reasons. An unfortunate term, the “ghettoization” of the suburbs, is being coined by immigrant communities which are left in dilapidated suburban homes isolated by ineffective public transportation. This is already happening in some “burbs” on the west side of the state. Looking deeper into the “burbs”, we can


find several dynamic factors as to why the suburbs are home to millions more residents living below the poverty level than those areas dubbed the “poor inner city” areas. The suburban poverty rates are rising faster than any other residential setting, according to the Brookings Institute’s 2011 study on suburbs and poverty. “A combination of factors including overall population growth,


led


job centralization,


aging of housing, immigration, region-wide economic decline, and policies promoting mobility of low-income households


increasing shares of the poor to inhabit the suburbs over the decade. From 2001 to 2010, the number of poor individuals in


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136  |  Page 137  |  Page 138  |  Page 139  |  Page 140  |  Page 141  |  Page 142  |  Page 143  |  Page 144  |  Page 145  |  Page 146  |  Page 147  |  Page 148  |  Page 149  |  Page 150  |  Page 151  |  Page 152  |  Page 153  |  Page 154  |  Page 155  |  Page 156  |  Page 157  |  Page 158  |  Page 159  |  Page 160  |  Page 161  |  Page 162  |  Page 163  |  Page 164  |  Page 165  |  Page 166  |  Page 167  |  Page 168  |  Page 169  |  Page 170  |  Page 171  |  Page 172  |  Page 173  |  Page 174  |  Page 175  |  Page 176  |  Page 177  |  Page 178  |  Page 179  |  Page 180  |  Page 181  |  Page 182  |  Page 183  |  Page 184  |  Page 185  |  Page 186  |  Page 187  |  Page 188  |  Page 189  |  Page 190  |  Page 191  |  Page 192  |  Page 193  |  Page 194  |  Page 195  |  Page 196  |  Page 197  |  Page 198  |  Page 199  |  Page 200  |  Page 201  |  Page 202  |  Page 203  |  Page 204  |  Page 205  |  Page 206  |  Page 207  |  Page 208  |  Page 209  |  Page 210  |  Page 211  |  Page 212