maybe the best design article of the year…

January 30, 2014 § 4 Comments

…and it’s from Politico, of all places, making the case that the snowstorm that paralyzed Atlanta, far from being an “act of God,” was the totally predictable result of decades worth of short-sighted design.  An absolute must-read for anyone interested in cities…

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§ 4 Responses to maybe the best design article of the year…

  • Teddi Barron says:

    Thanks for sharing this. It is excellent!

  • Jack Kremers says:

    Not sure that design is the cause. The current design appears to be the product of politics and governmental organization. Now if we empower designers to pull Atlanta together – Even in Chicago, accustomed to winter for sure, mass transit is receiving lots of criticism in the last weeks.

  • Jason Reis says:

    Interesting. I agree to a point but also see our role as designers being used as a crutch. first things first…be ready. Keep the supplies for those things ready in your car and at home. Government’s job is not to save my bum in a disaster. So a little prepreation keeps things at bay. Also transportation businesses are also to blame as they are trying to make as much money as possible, business standard, right? Well they don’t work well with each other. Bus, Rail & Air transit compete against each other often over lapping to try to gain more ridership versus working with each other to develop better mass transit systems. Lastly foolishness.Some times instead of trying to drive faster to get home the better idea is to wait. One of the issues is that businesses didn’t stagger their employee release so instead of 6mil. folks slowly leaving from 3p-6p they all started almost at once in bad conditions with the mindset to drive faster to beat the storm. What this teaches me is that cities need to spend time to develop protocols for such happenings. But city design should take in this information and try to learn from it. Lastly, do you design for the rare & worst events? I say no but others likely disagree. People need to understand that they are responsible for their own well being and that in times of disaster they need to step up that responsibility. If we as a society can do that, we would be some much farther ahead.

    • twleslie says:

      All good points. I guess you could call all of those ‘design’ issues in the broadest sense–maybe the real problem is a lack of critical thinking at all levels, from the household that doesn’t have a snow shovel in the car up through the metropolitan planners who didn’t coordinate the transportation emergency. Not everyone can ‘step up,’ of course, government has a role to play in making sure the elderly, sick, etc., get through a storm like that safely…

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