Clustering and Centralization

Ravi Sundarum Reading response

I really enjoyed the Sundaram piece on city planning and infrastructure. Being in a class called Postcolonial legacies I have an appreciation already for some of the topics he is discussing. These is a really naive flaw in western planning, an assumption that the idea set out will go well, because surely everyone in agreement (those surrounding the planner) are like me. This more often than not leads to segmentation, each thing will have its place, because peak efficiency is not mixing things together in a pot. Capitalism tends to cluster things together. Not only in centralization but for optimization. Factories are clustered in specific regions or zone, because it can create hubs for input and output. While this benefits the industry it does not benefit the worker because they must commute. This is the same for Offices.

Shopping malls are creations of suburban planning. Americans looked to Europe to emulate things like city squares in Italy. For surely an urban development of lovely homes need a central shopping place. But failed to realize that the square is part of a network that developed naturally, a system something organic. We are only finally in the recent decade beginning to witness the resurgence of mixed shopping and residential spaces, in non major metropolitan cities. If you don’t live in San Francisco, NYC, Chicago…ect then you are not likely to find yourself living over where you might get your groceries and hair cut. 

It is a world built for us because our actions molded over time. It serves nobody that most of us must drive to the grocery store 

This is a cool article on the history of Suburbia planning