Video: Places that are not worth caring about

Posted by on Wed, February 4, 2009

"When we have enough places that are not worth caring about, we will have a nation that is not worth defending."—James Howard Kunstler

I’ve mentioned in the past that my view of development and community has been strongly influenced by Kunstler’s The Geography of Nowhere.Take 20 minutes to watch Kunstler’s take on the Tragedy of Suburbia. Kunstler is not only right, he’s incredibly funny.

Kunstler introduced many Americans to "New Urbanism" and "Smart Growth".  The Tragedy of the Coastside is that these terms are being used to promote projects that are the opposite of what they mean. Watch this video, and think about projects like Wavecrest, Beachwood, or Peeble’s Pacifica Quarry. Ask yourself what kind of community their promoters have in mind for us.


Thank you.  This is a very important piece for us all to watch and think about.  It is 20 minutes well spent. 


His ideas are interesting if somewhat reactionary.  He should definitely switch to decaf.

Comment 3
Thu, February 5, 2009 10:21am
Lisa Ketcham
All my comments

I love Kunstler’s comment about trying to “remedy mutilated urbanism with nature”—“to make ourselves feel better we put a nature band-aid in front of it.”

Like the proposed Big Wave office park behemoth buildings with perimeter planting of a tight row of fast-growing tall trees to attempt to hide the 52ft+ buildings in 10 years.

Lisa Ketcham

Comment 4
Thu, February 5, 2009 10:34am
Cheri Parr
All my comments

Easily the best video I’ve seen in some time.  One of the reasons I love visiting my parents in rural Barnesville Georgia is that the town is a real town, with a town square, and architecturally unique buildings. Unfortunately as the cross traffic heading to Atlanta get’s closer, it is become more accommodating to cars than people. Savannah is another favorite for all of the wonderful outdoor spaces.  Now if they could only do something about the heat and humidity!

Comment 5
Thu, February 5, 2009 10:47am
Cheri Parr
All my comments

Also makes me wonder what Kunstler would say about the proposed “SCENIC” safe bypass in Half Moon Bay that requires paving over nature to create something “SCENIC”.