I find it ironic that after half a century of the golden age of urban planning, people all want to live in neighborhoods that were built before thenÂthat the planners are now trying to recreate. They were built by private developers and private streetcar companies, and the market guided it. I’ve heard it argued that urban planning is one area where the market really doesn’t work that well, that you find in great cities that there was a lot of central planning of the street grids. I’d like to know more. You obviously need someone to set some rules, but I still tend to think that the really successful cities and neighborhoods are the ones where there’s a lot of trial and error, people trying things on their own.
Which brings to mind the programming definition of creationism
The (false) belief that large, innovative software designs can be completely specified in advance and then painlessly magicked out of the void by the normal efforts of a team of normally talented programmers. In fact, experience has shown repeatedly that good designs arise only from evolutionary, exploratory interaction between one (or at most a small handful of) exceptionally able designer(s) and an active user population — and that the first try at a big new idea is always wrong.
It’s annoying that the current design v evolution debate consists of spastic posturing, it’s really an interesting topic.