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December 22, 2007

Penn’s Jacobsian experience, and the difficulty of planning

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder uses lessons learned by the University of Pennsylvania to illustrate the pitfalls of trying to drive redevelopment with a monolithic plan.

A quote from Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation and former president of the University of Pennsylvania:

In his 1990 book Inquiry and Change: The Troubled Attempt to Understand and Shape Society, Lindblom points out the impossibility of being truly comprehensive in urban planning from the start, because there are inevitable biases that frame the work in the abstract and there is an inexhaustible number of forces that enter into the life of cities over time that cannot be anticipated in advance.

Oder applies this issue of uncertainty to Atlantic Yards:

This raises many questions about the environmental review process regarding major projects like Atlantic Yards. Among them: Can a ten-year effect on traffic and transit really be estimated? Is ten years a legitimate endpoint, or an arbitrary one? And what if the buildout would take much longer?


Posted by steve at December 22, 2007 8:12 AM