Off the urban planning track, something in The Post struck me. An editorial pointing out Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley refusal to leave his citizens without representation in one district for even sixth months, and an expensive election is being proposed to prevent this. The editorial asks the U.S. Senate to take notice of the arguments Maryland’s politicians are giving on the rights of U.S. Citizens to be represented by their government.
From the city official in charge of the recovery effort in New Orleans, “It took us 11 years to do downtown Oakland,” said Mr. Blakely, an academic from California who specializes in helping cities recover from disasters. “This is a process of urban redevelopment. You cannot do this overnight, no city, anyplace in the world.”
Firstly, an academic who holds a university post thousands of miles away should never be put in charge of anything like planning post recovery. When action is needed academics are seldom your manager of choice. Planning does take a long time, but fifty percent of it is bureaucratic inefficiencies. Blakely did streamline the process some time ago, getting rid of some of the bureaucracy, but little progress has been seen despite his large staff.