Weekly Video: ‘Mistake by the Lake’
Describing the field of urban planning to someone who is unfamiliar can be challenging. In my experience, most people have difficulty distinguishing between urban planning and civil engineering, even when I’ve reiterated my complete mathematical ineptitude. Still, there are those out there who have their own fairly strong ideas about what planners do — that is, when we’re not toting our hammers and sickles.
This week’s video from John Stossel’s show on one of the Fox News networks features analysis from a decidedly libertarian panel on the failures of urban planning in Cleveland, Ohio — otherwise known as the ‘Mistake by the Lake‘. Now, to be fair, some good points are raised by the panelists. For example, building a community revitalization effort around a mega-project (hello, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) might not be the best idea, but calling for Houston-style planning policy doesn’t strike me as prudent either. Poor planning certainly exacerbated Cleveland’s decline, but it’s hardly the reason that the Rust Belt cities became so rusty. To do away with planning controls because bad decisions have been made in the past seems to be tossing the baby with the bathwater.
Anyway, those are my humble opinions. Watch the clip and formulate your own…