They are bland, they cost too much and they don't do anything.

Keep Houston Houston has come out very forcefully against those signs that cities hang up when they're trying to make a neighborhood happen. You know the ones - they look something like this:

Photo credit: James Bowe/Flickr

As Keep Houston Houston writes:

The effect is really poopifying. Pretty much the distinguishing factor between an authentic urban place and a shopping center is whether or not one entity has total control over the feel and the branding. I can recreate the exact building massing and aesthetics of pretty much any urban place with a camera and a CAD program. But if I’m a single property owner, the end result isn’t an actual place, it’s a “Lifestyle Center.” When you do a Lifestyle Center as infill instead of greenfield, it becomes a “Festival Marketplace.” But it’s still the same shopping-and-entertainment-complex, operating under a unified brand.

Now, you wanna do a Lifestyle Center or a Festival Marketplace, well, good for you. No one is going to mistake Market Center The Woodlands as an authentic small Texas town, and everyone in Murder City knows the Inner Harbor is a place for tourists. But what makes placemaking banners a uniquely insidious evil is that they crap on real, authentic places.

 The entire post is quite entertaining. Check it out here.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of a tiny house in Oregon
    Design

    How Amazon Could Transform the Tiny House Movement

    Could the e-commerce giant help turn small-home living from a niche fad into a national housing solution?

  2. A portrait of Jay-Z.
    Equity

    The Roots of Jay-Z’s ‘Black Capitalism’

    Now partnering with the NFL, Jay-Z centers wealth-building in his activism, as many African Americans have before him—but without much success.

  3. Environment

    What U.S. Cities Facing Climate Disaster Risks Are Least Prepared?

    New studies find cities most vulnerable to climate change disasters—heat waves, flooding, rising seas, drought—are the least prepared.

  4. The downtown St. Louis skyline.
    Perspective

    Downtown St. Louis Is Rising; Black St. Louis Is Being Razed

    Square co-founder Jack Dorsey is expanding the company’s presence in St. Louis and demolishing vacant buildings on the city’s north side.

  5. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

×