Planetizen Posts: New Urbanism and Public Notices on the Web

I’ve posted a couple new posts to Planetizen’s Interchange blog recently:

> Should the Internet Replace Newspapers for Public Notices? Most planning and zoning ordinances require cities publish some notices in the local newspaper. In an age of newspapers decline, and with the Internet readily available, I suggest we should amend our laws.

> The Origin of New Urbanism’s Persistent Image Problem: Despite authoring a trenchant critique of contemporary urbanism and articulating a detailed, comprehensive vision for urban development, the New Urbanism movement retains a vague stigma with many American urbanists. Far more than an unfair stereotype, I argue the reputation problem runs to the core of intellectual life among American urbanists, speaking to the way our cities our developed and studied.

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. Offered additionally, internet notification seems to be a no-brainer.

    However, to replace, wholesale, newspaper-based notifications with online public notices would, at least in some places, disenfranchise those for whom, even in this ever-progressing society, internet access isn’t a luxury, as it is for those of us who can take it for granted.

  2. Internet notifications makes total sense, but will continue to drive nails into the coffins of (especially niche) print publications — e.g., The Chief in NYC.

  3. A couple of off-the-cuff responses, having made my way here via Richard Layman’s blog and the Planetizen piece about the new/old urbanist dichotomy.

    The piece is interesting but strikes me as slightly skewed, in two ways. One is that it presupposes some sort of standoff between theorists in a way that strikes me as unhelpful. The other is that I am minded to question your use of pragmatic.

    As regards the first, while it’s evident that there are territorial differences, and that there have been efforts to exploit or sharpen those differences, it’s not helpful to use them to further polarize discussion, particularly if you want to see any sort of reconciliation. Framing your discussion in terms of old school / new school doesn’t do anything for me.

    My second point is prompted by the comment that “growth was often planned, but by profit-motivated companies and pragmatic municipal governments.”

    I wonder what you mean by pragmatic. In its prosaic sense it would mean that municipal governors did things without fuss, in a straightforward and utilitarian manner. However, pragmatic in its classic or archaic senses carries a strong connotation of state intervention ranging from the ‘official’ to the ‘officious’.

    There’s an expanse of clear sky between the prosaic and classic meanings, and I wonder which one you intend to convey, partly because one meaning is plausible in the context of your statement, but the other ain’t.

    Overall, I think it would be more interesting to make passing mention of differences between schools of urban and suburban theory, then shift the focus to alternatives that haven’t had quite the spotlight but which focus on one or more relevant particulars or themes you’d like to address. Perahps in another piece?

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