Are We Planning Cities Just for Hipsters?
What is a city for? It’s a crucial question but one rarely asked by the pundits and developers who dominate the debate over the future of the American city.
Their current conventional wisdom embraces density, skyscrapers, vastly expanded mass transit and ever-smaller apartments. It reflects a desire to create an ideal locale for hipsters and older, sophisticated urban dwellers. It’s city as adult Disneyland or “entertainment machine,” chock-a-block with chic restaurants, shops and festivals.
Overlooked, or even disdained, is what most middle-class residents of the metropolis actually want: home ownership, rapid access to employment throughout the metropolitan area, good schools and “human scale” neighborhoods.