Personal reflections on urbanism, urban life and sustainable urban design in Wellington, New Zealand.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Urbanism Down Under

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The Urbanism Down Under 2005 Conference kicked off today with a rousing start, as Gerald Blunt (chair of the organising committee) quoted James Howard Kunstler railing against:
"...a car-dependent suburban infrastructure - McHousing estates, eight-lane highways, big-box chain stores, hamburger stands - that has no future as a living arrangement in an oil-short future.

The American suburban juggernaut can be described succinctly as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world".
See The Guardian for the full article.

Peter Bosselmann from San Francisco was next, and he began with the observation that urbanity is not about geography, but is a state of mind. It is an openness to the world that is the opposite of provincialism; in his opinion, Wellington exemplifies this mindset. Perhaps that explains the infamous openmindedness of Wellingtonians.


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