2/03/2012

Grand Adjustment; Skyscraper Dreams Suffocating Opportunities for Urban Utopia

Are some cities too blinded by the excitement and hype over skyscrapers that they are willing to support funding for such an isolated piece of development rather than distribute that funding to create better public spaces, infrastructure, and mid-rise development that often fills in open gaps and empty voids that plague so many of our big cities?


Inga Saffron thinks Philadelphians shouldn't be loosing any sleep because the American Commerce Center didn't get built during the boom years.  While skyscrapers may capture our imaginations, and be seen by some as saviors in the crusade against sprawl, they're not the only way to build a better city.


Piazza at Schmidts

Saffron challenges Philadelphians to make the "grand adjustment", rather than focus on the "grand vision". She states, " It's time that we let go of our skyscraper fantasies and concentrate instead on making our mature city a better place to live".

Town Center Complex, Dadeland, Miami

"We need to stop measuring our worth by skyscrapers and mega-projects, and judge ourselves on the quality of our public spaces.  We have to stop treating them as a frill that we pay for with left over change.  The best way to build density in Philadelphia: build the amenities that make people want to live here."