Very interesting piece in The Atlantic magazine’s November issue on the the small-scale experimentation in the design and construction of homes now underway in New Orleans neighborhoods. Called ”Houses of the Future,’’ it describes how various architects, Hollywood stars (one Brad Pitt) and other do-gooders are trying to fill the vacuum left by government paralysis.
Among those featured: Miami’s Andres Duany, co-creator of the New Urbanism, who as usual makes plain his disdain for architectural frippery in blunt language not suited for a family newspaper blog. The architect and planner – whose firm, Duany Plater-Zyberk, just nailed a major accomplishment with passage of the Miami 21 zoning code – also delivers some characteristically Duany-esque observations, like this one:
“When I originally thought of New Orleans, I was conditioned by the press to think of it as an extremely ill-governed city, full of ill-educated people, with a great deal of crime, a great deal of dirt, a great deal of poverty,” said Duany, who grew up in Cuba. “And when I arrived, I did indeed find it to be all those things. Then one day I was walking down the street and I had this kind of brain thing, and I thought I was in Cuba. Weird! And then I realized at that moment that New Orleans was not an American city, it was a Caribbean city. Once you recalibrate, it becomes the best-governed, cleanest, most efficient, and best-educated city in the Caribbean. New Orleans is actually the Geneva of the Caribbean.”
Read more here.
PROGRAM NOTE: I’m off for a few days studying up on the Census. Hope to resume blogging next week.