From New Urban Network writer Philip Langdon: "An article in the November Atlantic reveals, not very surprisingly, that civic leaders in Kansas City, Missouri, are out to attract the 'creative class' — 'well-educated workers with bourgeois-bohemian tastes whom urban scholars have identified as the engine of urban growth.' "I peered at The Atlantic’s photo of what Kansas City is building to lure the creatives, and thought for a moment I was viewing a gigantic armadillo. It’s the Kauffman Center, a $326 million performing arts facility — purportedly a means for enticing talented young people to Missouri’s second-largest metropolis.
"My understanding of the Richard Florida take on urban development is that bright young workers are less interested in vast cultural and entertainment institutions than in having access to stimulating everyday locales — places they can walk to from their workplaces or their homes.
"Maybe Kansas City should have sent some of its leadership to Long Island City, Queens, New York, last weekend. That’s where — in a former greeting card factory — roughly 150 people argued for urban improvements conceived and carried out on a small, much more personal scale.
"Tony Garcia of Street Plans Collaborative posed a question: 'What’s the value system of development in cities?' He answered: 'It’s megadevelopment,' not small projects that individuals can do. In his view, which strikes me as exactly right, that’s part of the reason change is so urgently needed. 'We need to return to smaller projects,' Garcia contended. 'That’s the scale we want to build our cities at.' I sensed no disagreement from the crowd." Full article here.