Why are developers always, always at loggerheads with residents? What is it about open land, rows of modest houses, and quiet neighborhoods that just screams “Build condos on me!!!”?
In many ways the Lower Ninth Ward incorporated all of the components of a lively, sustainable, engaging Smart Growth neighborhood. Residents understand the authentic connectivity that made their neighborhood work, the kind of physical, social and economic co-mingling that so many Americans desire, but which actually existed in the Lower Ninth.
It’s easy, even in the wreckage left by the hurricanes, to understand how the Lower Ninth Ward represents the idea of “neighborhood” and “community” — not as developers build them, or planners map them, or architects design them or politicians campaign in them. [source]
Hmm, that sounds downright lovely. With my developer hat firmly in place, I must recommend bulldozing the entire Ward and find my company’s Johnny Mallseed to skip through town to sprinkle the area with Quik-E-Marts, 7-11s, and a Taco Bell. Then, when I have my “business district” in place, I can start plunking down boxy, 3-story, walk-ups, modestly landscaped and selling for three times the local market value. That’ll price out all those undesirables.