Urbanism for all stripes: Evangelical-oriented magazine's take on CNU17
Cities are so profoundly shaped by political decisions, from local zoning codes to federal transportation allocations, that it's easy to lose sight of the fact that good urban form knows no political divide. The creation of mixed-use growth is certainly perpetuated by, for instance, public investment, but also by more conservative-oriented policies such as less restrictive zoning regulations. Christian news magazine WORLD examines New Urbanism and the recent congress in Denver from this conservative perspective and includes viewpoints from prominent New Urbanists. It even addresses some more critical views of anti-urban conservatives:
What should conservatives make of all this? Some libertarians and conservatives attack the new urbanism. Randal O'Toole, an economist associated with the libertarian Cato Institute, argues that development strategies favoring denser land use and light rail ignore consumer desires for big backyards and end up wasting taxpayer dollars. But Paul Weyrich, the longtime head of the Free Congress Foundation who died last December, coauthored with William Lind The Next Conservatism (St. Augustine's Press, 2009), which praises New Urbanists and argues that conservatives should support them in opposition to government-imposed building codes that require single-use development. The Next Conservatism advocates cities and towns that are compact (for walking), connected (by a variety of transport, especially rail), complete (with a variety of housing types), and convivial (aiding in the creation of community).
It's a well-written article with a particular take, and it serves as a reminder that neither neither conservatives nor New Urbanists stand to benefit from a red state/blue state-type division in urban space.
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