Smart Planning? Mixed Use? What a Concept!

Amusing editorial in the SGV Tribune today. Apparently, they think this is a good idea everywhere else but Rosemead. I guess they subscribe to the mantra that consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.

Street Life

A lot of the new urbanism is just wishful thinking. Cities wish they could have a lively street life, where affluent people shop, like Old Pasadena. Density is good, when it's high-income residents crowding in.

When it's working class people crowding together, urbanism isn't popular. They associate it with slums.

That's why they're down on Rosemead increasing density. They think it will become a high-density ghetto. The population is mostly Asian and Latino, and heavily immigrant.

They think of Chinatown or Huntington Park.

It's absurd paranoia tinged with racism.

The main things that make a dense city work are jobs, transportation, and housing. Basically, you need to have a fraction of the population that doesn't own cars. This usually means poorer people.

Without cars, you can provide less parking. Small businesses become viable, because there are local shoppers.

You also need good public transit, and good jobs. That means buses and trains that run every ten minutes. You need jobs that pay well above the poverty line, and medium sized companies, not just mom and pop businesses, so people can have a career ladder locally.