Tag Archive for 'buffalo'

The Crash of Flight 3407

Flight 3407 – Reuters

CREDIT: Gary Wiepert, Reuters [via]

Last night, Con­ti­nen­tal Flight 3407 crashed in route from Newark to Buf­falo Nia­gara Inter­na­tional Air­port, just a few miles from its sched­uled des­ti­na­tion. The crash site is just five or six miles from where I grew up, in a sub­urb of Buf­falo, NY.

The Buf­falo News has a liv­ing topic page ded­i­cated to cov­er­age of the event, which they are updat­ing with arti­cles, pho­tos, video and other resources, as they are put up. They also started live blog­ging the story, and link­ing to out­side resources pro­vided by cit­i­zen journalists.

CNN is car­ry­ing live video from the local NBC affli­ate.

My heart goes out to the vic­tims, their fam­i­lies and the nearby com­mu­ni­ties. It’s impor­tant to remem­ber that these things rarely hap­pen, but when they do, espe­cially so close to home, it’s impos­si­ble not to feel sad.

Saving Buffalo’s Untold Beauty

Downtown Buffalo

Photo Credit: Tony Cenicola/The New York TimesA photo of down­town Buffalo.

The Times had a great piece yes­ter­day on Buffalo’s archi­tec­tural legacy, and recent attempts to save his­toric buildings:

Buf­falo is home to some of the great­est Amer­i­can archi­tec­ture of the late 19th and early 20th cen­turies, with major archi­tects like Henry Hob­son Richard­son, Fred­er­ick Law Olm­sted, Louis Sul­li­van and Frank Lloyd Wright build­ing mar­vels here. Together they shaped one of the grand­est early visions of the demo­c­ra­tic Amer­i­can city.

Yet Buf­falo is more com­monly iden­ti­fied with the crum­bling infra­struc­ture, aban­doned homes and dwin­dling jobs that have defined the Rust Belt for the past 50 years. And for decades its archi­tec­ture has seemed strangely frozen in time.

There is also an accom­pa­ny­ing slide show, from which the photo above was taken.

Full dis­clo­sure: I’m orig­i­nally from Buffalo.

What Could Possibly Make Someone Want to Leave New York and Move to Buffalo?

Buffalo #1

Lisa’s tat­too con­firms that Buf­falo is indeed #1.

New York mag­a­zine has an inter­est­ing fea­ture on New York­ers mov­ing to Buf­falo, NY, the very city that Lisa and I were raised in and sub­se­quently couldn’t wait to leave from after high school.

Some peo­ple will read this as a story of defeat. They will look at Her­beck and Cloyd and think, They came; they couldn’t cut it; good rid­dance. That’s also a famil­iar New York nar­ra­tive, one that’s espe­cially com­fort­ing to those of us who stay and stick it out. Because, sure, stained glass and spare bed­rooms are nice and all, but no one moves to New York because they think they’re going to get a great bar­gain on an apart­ment. You move here because you want to live in New York City.

The writer then goes on to say that this is not a story of defeat, but rather an opportunity:

But New York, for all its mythol­ogy, is no longer a fron­tier. Buf­falo is a fron­tier. And when you think of the actual fron­tier, you’ll recall that no one ever packed up and moved West to a gold-rush town because they heard it had really good local theater.

Um, okay… Truth is, I know more for­mer 716 area coders that are now in 212 or 718. But, it’s a pro­vok­ing premise for a city famous for lit­tle more than snow and four con­sec­u­tive failed Super­bowl bids.

Pool for Sale

The pool of my child­hood is for sale. My, how things fall apart!

Google Earth in 3D

Google Earth now has 3D-buildings, and it’s really fun to play with. Here is the Times Build­ing, where I work:

Times Building

A 3D ren­der­ing of the New York Times Build­ing in Mid­town, as shown in Google Earth.

If you have Google Earth installed, see it for your­self. Or, try land­ing on the deck of the Golden Gate Bridge, (just zoom in).

There seems to be data for a lot of cities, includ­ing my home town of Buf­falo, and for­mer home of Boston.

Alma Mater

Lisa and I still keep in touch with a lot of friends from high school, some of which we’ve known since grade school. We were all try­ing to remem­ber today if there was an alma mater anthem for our High School. As none of us were par­tic­u­larly rah-rah back then, we couldn’t remember.

Three of us, how­ever, could remem­ber the words to our grade school anthem – which is a bit shock­ing, con­sid­er­ing the last time I heard it was some­time in 1988, in the fifth grade. I think they forced us to sing this thing dur­ing assem­blies, through­out the school years:

Coun­try Park­way is our school,
where we learn to obey the rules.
We do our best and take great pride,
with our Country’s flag fly­ing high.

Here we work and here we play
Learn­ing new things every­day.
From north to south and east to west,
Our Coun­try Park­way is the best.

Creepy, in its empha­sis on con­for­mity – espe­cially for a fairly pro­gres­sive pub­lic school district.

Sabres as Oasis?

Chris DruryWe’re head­ing home to Buf­falo for the hol­i­day, (and my 10-year High School reunion), which reminds me of how well the Sabres are playing.

ESPN’s John Buc­ci­gross com­pares the Sabres to the brit­pop Oasis of all things:

At full strength, the Buf­falo Sabres are unequiv­o­cally the best team in the NHL. Not only do they have the full com­ple­ment of parts, but Buf­falo has that con­fi­dence that Oasis had when they went head-to-head with Blur back in 1995 in a Brit­pop mano a mano, or more accu­rately called boyo-a-boyo.

Noel Gal­lagher said he and Oasis’ soul was more pure than Blur’s because they grew up poor, with dirt under­neath their fin­ger­nails, while Blur was mid­dle class. The con­cept is inter­est­ing, espe­cially when it is spo­ken with a rough Eng­lish accent while sit­ting in a gigan­tic and expen­sive chair.

But Chris Drury, who grew up in a middle-class town in south­ern Con­necti­cut, makes $3.1 mil­lion this sea­son and prob­a­bly will sign a five-year, $22 mil­lion con­tract with some­one next sum­mer. And yet, he plays every game like some­one kid­napped his entire fam­ily and the ran­som is win­ning the face­off he is about to take. That’s the story, morn­ing glory.

I may not agree with John’s take on the 90s Brit­pop war, but it’s hard to argue with his thoughts on Drury.

Godson

Here is my God­son, Tommy…

Godson

God­son, by ned­ward.

I was in Buf­falo this past week­end to cel­e­brate my Grandma’s 100th birth­day, and got to see my cousins Mag­gie, Lau­ren, Sarah, and Emma.

X-mas in Buffalo

Ornament on the familial X-mas tree

Orna­ment on the famil­ial X-mas tree

Macy and Jeremy at Spot Coffee, Elmwood Ave.

Macy and Jeremy at Spot Cof­fee, Elm­wood Ave

Exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery

Con­tinue read­ing ‘X-mas in Buffalo’

Buffalo Central Terminal Update

Chuck Maley's Central Terminal picturesA while back, I posted about a piece of archi­tec­tural won­der­ment lying van­dal­ized and dor­mant in Buffalo—the old Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal. It’s a beau­ti­ful Deco train sta­tion from the 1920s, plopped into an oth­er­wise unex­cep­tional sub­ur­ban neighborhood.

At the time the sta­tion was built, Buf­falo was still an indus­trial and cul­tural cen­ter, with a pop­u­la­tion over one-half mil­lion. It was sec­ond only to Chicago for its tan­gling rail net­work. How­ever, by the late 1970s, both the city and the sta­tion had seen bet­ter days. The sta­tion was boarded up, and the trains instead stopped at a new, strip-mall like parking-lot sta­tion not far away.

Well, there is some good news… it seems that some peo­ple do care about pre­serv­ing the city’s her­itage. Despite its van­dal­ized and trashed inte­rior, the build­ing is draw­ing crowds—including some Cana­dian urban explor­ers.

What I love about struc­tures like the Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal is that they were built for the pub­lic to use. It’s absolutely unthink­able to imag­ine pri­vate cor­po­ra­tions build­ing such pub­lic spaces today—I think those years have passed, (as have the years of ridicu­lously cheap immi­grant labor).

Here’s hop­ing there is a devel­oper out there with deep pock­ets and a cre­ative will.

The Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal at a glance:

  • The Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal opened four months before the Wall Street crash of 1929
  • Designed to han­dle an antic­i­pated Buf­falo pop­u­la­tion of 1.5 mil­lion, it cost $14 mil­lion to build
  • The 17-story office tower stands 271 feet high
  • The sta­tion closed in Octo­ber 1979 after years of dwin­dling rail pas­sen­ger service
  • A 1969 study esti­mated it would cost $54 mil­lion to restore it for office use, and $16.3 mil­lion to demol­ish it

Basketcase City

Here is an inter­est­ing item in the Buf­falo News… it seems for­mer mayor James D. “Jimmy” Grif­fin is start­ing a “grass-roots” cam­paign to recall his suc­ces­sor, Mayor Masiello. Just as Buf­falo is start­ing to do the right things it needs to do to get out of finan­cial chaos, past specters respon­si­ble for the mess the city finds itself in are in are resur­fac­ing to reassert their influence.

There is no money in the city cof­fers, and NY State is occu­pied with rebuild­ing NY City… yet Grif­fin finds it nec­es­sary to stir up pop­ulist anger at the mayor’s insis­tence that a city of 290,000 can­not afford 2-man police cars.

Now, I’m sup­port­ive of unions, and labor in gen­eral. But, they’ve got the city hijacked—it’s just not the city of half-million that it was in 1905. My sub­ur­ban child­hood town, Amherst, prob­a­bly has more class-A office space that 10 Buf­fa­los… the reign­ing cul­ture there is one of the automobile.

If You Build it, They Will Come
The State built the new cam­pus of the Uni­ver­sity at Buf­falo—on unde­vel­oped land in Amherst in the 60s—in such a way as to con­fuse pedes­tri­ans. The park­ing lots and mega-steel-and-glass-box build­ings are on a scale unfath­omable to the pedes­trian. It could take you thirty min­utes to walk from the dor­mi­to­ries to class, and the only thing that sep­a­rates you are vast park­ing lots and curv­ing 8-lane roads. This sort of destruc­tive and unprece­dented plan­ning will make an ago­ra­phobe out of any­one that isn’t high on some­thing… There is no urban fabric—you can’t com­fort­ably walk down a block and buy a coke at the news stand on the way to sta­tis­tics. The street isn’t lined with a buffer of parked cars or trees to insu­late the pedes­trian from the street. No. This would be the tra­di­tional way of plan­ning. Are the streets planned at all?

The fact is, the only way the Uni­ver­sity at Buf­falo makes any coher­ent sense is from 75 mph out your car win­dow on Interstate-990, (inci­den­tally a use­less, sprawl-inducing high­way built to link yet-to-be-built shoddy cul-de-sacs north of the city, to the new cam­pus). And from a reac­tionary admin­is­tra­tive point of view, this kind of build­ing assures total con­trol over the “streets”, a worry of these types in the tur­bu­lent 1960s.

A Cul­ture of Dash­boards
Where was I? Oh yes. The auto­mo­bile. The Cul­ture in Buf­falo. It must be changed. Or at least mod­i­fied, and we’ve got to for once put an end to peo­ple like Jimmy Grif­fin. Irish politi­cians, gen­er­ally speak­ing, have a par­tic­u­lar knack for killing cities for their own per­sonal gain. In my mind, James D. Grif­fin was the most cor­rupt city mayor of the past 25 years, eclipsed recently only by Buddy Cianci in Prov­i­dence. His neigh­bor­hood cronies ran the city into the ground, going so far as to poi­son the man-made lake in Delaware Park, by dump­ing chem­i­cals such that it wouldn’t freeze for ice-skaters. No, Grif­fin is only inter­ested in tak­ing care of his clan in South Buf­falo, and the whole damn rest of you can go fuck your­selves.

Speak­ing of his Irish clan, always mind­ful to under­line their white, and there­fore priv­i­leged sta­tus, the Irish politi­cians iden­tify sta­tus sym­bols that might hide the oth­er­wise sad state of the city. The car, and sub­ur­ban devel­op­ment in gen­eral, are pre­cisely their cho­sen sym­bols. They can’t nec­es­sar­ily move into a 4 bed-room McMan­sion in Amherst, how­ever they can afford a five-year old Chevy or Ford—and avoid tak­ing the sub­way or, god-forbid, the bus sys­tem (which are pri­mar­ily employed by the African-American pop­u­la­tion). They envy the new sub­ur­ban, car-oriented devel­op­ment of strip malls and park­ing lots, and politi­cian like Grif­fin decided that this was pre­cisely the kind of con­struc­tion needed in the city. What resulted, was a mess. Drive down main street from the 198 to down­town to see what i mean. You can lit­er­ally drive through there with­out see­ing peo­ple on the street for blocks—and this is a 4-lane road

Cities should be orga­nized to facil­i­tate sub­ur­ban­ite com­muters. Right? Well, this kind of thing isn’t going to be sus­tain­able in Miami, Las Vegas, Philadel­phia or Detroit—much less Buf­falo. In fact, the finan­cial real­i­ties that are start­ing to sur­face in less-off places like Buf­falo should be a kind of warn­ing. We won’t always have cheap oil, and it should be evi­dent that cities actu­ally offer a healthy way of life. Walk to work. Ride a sub­way car with peo­ple from dif­fer­ent clans than you. Pre­serve our his­tor­i­cal build­ings, because they were built bet­ter than any build­ing in the past 50 years.

The Restora­tion
Walk to work? These sort of ideas belong to elites, and that explains why the Irish politi­cians (and oth­ers like James Pitts, the African-American Com­mon Coun­cil Pres­i­dent), resist efforts in this direc­tion. They’re too caught up in what they per­ceive to be sta­tus sym­bols, i.e., cars, krispy kremes, that they don’t real­ize that the health of the city and region depends on the health of its neigh­bor­hoods. And, yes Mr. Pitts, we will have to invest in the minor­ity neigh­bor­hoods. But until we put some money in the cof­fers, and work on erod­ing the per­cep­tion that cities are for non-car dri­ving public-housing types. It’s a mania that can­not sus­tain itself.

<sports>


I really am tempted to write a Slate–like cranky crit­i­cism of the new Buf­falo Bills uni­forms, but I will try to say some nice things: The dark blue is great. I like the stripes with the gray on the helmet.

(Here comes the cranky part) So, if you’re going to make an “update” with the new darker blue, why would you keep the lighter royal blue? Wouldn’t it be nice to put the num­bers in red, or gray? or the new dark blue? Doesn’t that light blue look just as dated now as it did last year? Why do the white uni­forms have a blue bar on the shoulders?

And the logo—change the f*cking logo. I think the Sabres got the logo RIGHT. It’s tough, mod­ern and looks fuck­ing great on the front of the uni­forms. The Bills logo (much like the orig­i­nal Sabres jer­seys) is the bor­ing old abstract corporate-art that is a direct rip-off of that 1970s Buf­falo pro­pa­ganda “WERE TALKING PROUD”. Talk­ing Proud? We’re talk­ing MISERY.

Let me tell you what I really think. In a move true to this nos­tal­gic age we live in, the Bills tried to pre­serve many ele­ments of the old uni­forms, while updat­ing the col­ors a lit­tle. The result? It’s an inco­he­sive mish­mash of styles and col­ors, try­ing to be every­thing to every­body and it fails all around. There is noth­ing intim­i­dat­ing about these jer­seys, nor is there any­thing “new”.

Convert, don’t Build

Any­one fol­low­ing the Adel­phia bid to build a huge sky­scraper on the Buf­falo water­front, has to laugh at the company’s deter­mi­na­tion to get it done. The com­pany is hav­ing Enron-like finan­cial woes, yet still wants to build this tower in a city that has com­mer­cial vacancy rates that rival occu­pancy rates. I’m not say­ing the Adel­phia project is a mis­take, how­ever I think peo­ple aren’t focus­ing prop­erly on how to fos­ter the 24-hour down­town a vibrant city needs.

First, I think, you need to lure peo­ple who work in the city to also live in the city. Cities have cer­tain advan­tages to offer: A con­cen­tra­tion of local busi­nesses and ser­vices within walk­ing dis­tance (or by train), includ­ing restau­rants, arts and cul­tural offer­ings, and shops. Instead of infill­ing the city with suburban-type devel­op­ments (main place mall), or huge gated res­i­den­tial projects, why not play off the strengths of city-living, by revi­tal­iz­ing dense, mixed-use neigh­bor­hoods, and pro­vide a hous­ing alter­na­tive for people?

I’ve been encour­aged to see, as I have pointed out in my blog, that devel­op­ers in Buf­falo are tak­ing inter­est in con­vert­ing old com­mer­cial and indus­trial space into res­i­den­tial hous­ing (lofts.) It’s been shown to make money, and I think that might be the cat­a­lyst for a true down­town recov­ery. The kinds of peo­ple look­ing for this kind of hous­ing have been will­ing to pay upwards of $1000 for a one-bedroom loft—(incidentally, in boston that would be a bar­gain, but in buf­falo! My god, that’s no bargain)—so they must have money, and need ser­vices like gro­ceries, restau­rants, and bars. Presto!, urban renewal… You don’t need to throw cat­a­clysmic money into develp­ing a new sky­scraper, when the mar­ket­place can do you just as good.

Trains are better than Cars

buff-central-term-2.jpg
Cen­tral Sta­tion, Buf­falo, NY, circa 1930.

Presley’s sis­ter Kelly was in town this past week­end, and she left yes­ter­day on the Amtrak train from Back Bay Sta­tion, which got me think­ing about train sta­tions and trains in gen­eral. Every­one in these New Urban­ist books that I read can’t fathom how Amer­ica ended up wed­ded to the auto­mo­bile, while the Euro­peans remain con­tented with trains.

I think it’s a sim­ple answer: after the war, we just could. It was the thing to do, and we had the resources. But, isn’t there some­thing won­der­ful about trains? And more impor­tantly, big city train sta­tions? Grand Cen­tral in Man­hat­tan is gor­geous. Mod­erin­ists moan on about how style should be down-played because it is the taste of eco­nomic elites, but I don’t care if putting a build­ing like that up was a cap­i­tal­ist show of wealth and power—it had beauty, craft­man­ship and it was a place where peo­ple of all races and incomes passed through. They destroyed Penn Sta­tion in the six­ties to put up Madi­son Square Gar­den. big whoop. If any­thing, MSG is more capitalist-minded than the build­ing it replaced.

So, it brings me around to Buf­falo and Kelly’s depar­ture… Ear­lier in this cen­tury, Buf­falo actu­ally was in the top 5 for most rail­road track—Buffalo had indus­try, and it was located on the impor­tant route between new york and chicago. The city built some beau­ti­ful train sta­tions (sub­se­quently demol­ished), who’s archi­tec­ture seems won­der­fully as grand as Grand Cen­tral itself. The last remain­ing sta­tion, Cen­tral Ter­mi­nal, still stands on the East Side, though it’s falling apart. I wish to God the city could find some new use for the facility—problem is, it is located in the most eco­nom­i­cally depressed area of the city.

Boston as a Blueprint

The new Plan­ning news feed at the right of this page is already reap­ing inter­est­ing rewards—among the inter­est­ing links, an arti­cle that dis­cusses Boston and it’s neigh­bor­hoods. Mayor Menino has made neighborhood-based com­mer­cial devel­op­ment a pri­or­ity over the past decade or so, and it’s just the kind of thing that makes eco­nomic sense. In award­ing grants to indi­vid­ual small busi­ness own­ers, (most of which is fed­eral money any­way), for lit­tle improve­ments such as new store facades, Boston has cul­ti­vated a neigh­bor­hood approach to devel­op­ment. Occa­sion­ally, big “urban-renewal” projects, such as the new Ritz-Carlton mon­stros­ity in Chi­na­town, do get built, but usu­ally they include some kind of mixed-use, (even if that mixed-use is upscale in this very working-class neighborhood).

It’s never been a very sexy thing to talk about, but the suc­cesses of this pro­gram can’t be ignored, and many cities are start­ing to emu­late Menino. Buf­falo is try­ing to cul­ti­vate this, through the cre­ation and encour­age­ment of city neigh­bor­hoods such as the “Pan-Am Dis­trict” around Elm­wood Ave in North Buf­falo. Even pri­vate col­lege cam­puses such as Can­i­sius are con­tribut­ing to the qual­ity of their sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hoods by pro­vid­ing low-interest mort­gages to pro­fes­sors and staff, to encour­age them to live near the schools. Now, answer me this: Why is the major state school, SUNY at Buf­falo, located in Amherst (not buffalo)?

What Buffalo Was, and What it Should Be


If you’ve talked with me in the last few months, you know that I’ve taken an inter­est in Urban Plan­ning, and more specif­i­cally those char­ac­ter­is­tics that make a good neigh­bor­hood and city. I don’t know why this sub­ject has peaked my inter­est, con­sid­er­ing I used to be in awe of places like Epcot and I grew up not far from strip-malls. But, I am deeply con­cerned about that place where I grew up, because the city of Buf­falo is rot­ting at it’s core, while the end­less devel­op­ment of phar­macy mini-malls, park­ing lots, and cul-de-sacs pushes far­ther out into the countryside.

It used to be that Tran­sit Road was a marker or sorts—suburban devel­op­ment fell off notably in the town of Clarence. But now, Clarence and Lan­caster are becom­ing the newest sprawl sub­urbs. Hous­ing devel­op­ment is get­ting less and less dense, tak­ing up more and more land, and as a result, weak­en­ing com­mu­nity ties. The goal in the Buf­falo area these days, is to earn enough to “get yours”—which means a big house in the mid­dle of nowhere, with lousy archi­tec­ture, a big front yard, and curv­ing streets that don’t con­nect to other devel­op­ments. You can’t walk to a cor­ner store, much less to work or school.

This, of course, means that cars must be used for any­thing and every­thing in Buffalo’s sub­urbs, and increas­ingly so in these new sub­urbs. Grow­ing up, I could walk or ride my bike to a cor­ner store, a super­mar­ket, a pizze­ria, a k-mart and a bagel shop. For kids grow­ing up in Loch Lea and other devel­op­ments fur­ther out, this is sim­ply not an option—a ride from mom or dad is required, and an (unhealthy) depen­dence is born. Also, you spend much of your early teenage years look­ing for older friends, or pin­ing for that 16th birth­day, when mom and dad will pro­vide you with a car. There is a sense of enti­tle­ment that comes in such a place.

Buf­falo, how­ever, wasn’t always so bleak. The Buf­falo of my Grandmother’s youth was a vibrant and busy city. Look at some of these pho­tographs… Street­cars zipped up and down major avenues, auto­mo­biles co-existed with pedes­tri­ans, com­mer­cial streets had first-floor store­fronts with apart­ments above, and you knew your neigh­bor, butcher and neigh­bor­hood cop. I don’t want to sen­ti­men­tal­ize what was, but I think peo­ple under­stood that there was an art to build­ing neighborhoods—an art that seems to have been lost in post-war, post-industrial Buf­falo. The pow­er­ful sub­ur­ban devel­op­ers like Ciminelli, don’t build per­ma­nent places to live. They think that there is no money to be made in tra­di­tional (that is to say, mixed-use) neigh­bor­hoods. Every­thing is this set-back-from-the-street, bas­tardized mod­ernist, flat-roof, single-floor, hor­i­zon­tal mon­stros­ity, with 5 park­ing spots out front for every 1 customer.

I know I’m tak­ing hyper­bolic license here, but I do it only because the pre­vail­ing assump­tions are so ingrained and accepted that you almost need to shock peo­ple to wake them up.

We’ve been liv­ing in the age of the auto­mo­bile. Traf­fic engi­neers say we need to widen roads and inter­sec­tions to decrease traf­fic and increase traf­fic vol­ume. Every major study of road­way “improve­ments” shows that more lanes = more cars. By widen­ing a road like Tran­sit, you are actu­ally cre­at­ing more traf­fic in the long-run. Even Robert Moses real­ized this in 1939, when traf­fic con­ges­tion cropped up on his high­ways where there was pre­vi­ously no prob­lem. You induce traf­fic, by build­ing more lanes. And, these wide inter­sec­tions you see on Tran­sit and other roads, are less safe than nar­rower, more tra­di­tional inter­sec­tions. Here in Boston, despite our rep­u­ta­tion for crazy dri­ving, there are rarely any acci­dents at all, due to our small blocks, odd inter­sec­tions and lack of sprawl.

Still, there is hope. I think the eco­nomic pres­sures that 50 years of this kind of devel­op­ment has wrought on Buf­falo is start­ing to change people’s minds about liv­ing and work­ing in close prox­im­ity. I hope envi­ron­men­tal, and eco­nomic real­i­ties force the city and it’s county of sub­urbs to draw a line in the sand (and the geog­ra­phy), and say enough is enough. It’s not about Growth vs. anti-Growth. It’s about Smart Growth. Banks, devel­op­ers and city & town offi­cials need to be shown that it is prefer­able to ditch this fast-decaying sub­ur­ban strip-mall way of doing things. If we are going to do this, the state needs to step in and set up stronger regional gov­ern­ment. Many peo­ple fear this, as being ‘more gov­ern­ment’, when in actu­al­ity it could save money by elim­i­nat­ing redun­dant services.

But there is pow­er­ful resis­tance to any kind of regional planning.