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March 6, 2007

Jane Jacobs, Atlantic Yards, and "the age of marketing"

Atlantic Yards Report

Yesterday, we tried our hand at a Robert A. M. Stern takedown, today Atlantic Yards Report takes a turn.

Norman Oder starts off by laying the groundwork for Atlantic Yards apologists (i.e. it sucks less than Ratner's past projects):

Still, Atlantic Yards, despite its extreme density and paucity of open space, would represent a significant step up from Forest City Ratner's anti-urban Atlantic Center mall and suburban-style office park development at MetroTech. There would be more retail on the ground floors and a bicycle path and a place to sit outside the Urban Room (at least if it's not too windy.)

Indeed, the Empire State Development Corporation defended Atlantic Yards in comparison to Stuyvesant Town--which I characterized as "building a better superblock."

However, he still concludes:

That doesn't make it Jacobsian, though.

Oder looks to New Yorker architecture critic Paul Goldberger to explain how Jacobs is often used to justify megaprojects, how the public gets left out of discussions concerning land use and the paradox of listening to the public.

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Posted by lumi at March 6, 2007 10:00 AM