Damn it. I can't let this blog die. It's too important to me. Thank you for your kind comments. I won't stick to my threat, although my publishing schedule will become more erratic (and you might notice un cambio de nombre). I don't need five comments. I just need one. That's the first thing I learned tonight.
The second thing I learned tonight is that I love my neighborhood. You really realize you love something when it's under attack. Tonight I heard people who haven't lived here talk about all the things that are "wrong" with this place and how they should be changed, without checking to see if the people whose lives would be affected the most agree.
When you exclude the public you tell them that they don't matter. That they don't even deserve to have a say over decisions that will affect their homes, their families, the places where they live out the bittersweet drunken dance that is this life.
I realized that when I talk about the worthlessness of suburbia I provoke the same feelings in those who love it. For whom it represents the fulfillment of so many dreams.
I feel humbler tonight. Suburbia will still get my criticism. It deserves it. But I understand now why public consent, morally, has to be a constraint on urbanism or any other city planning.
Home is a precious precious place, worth fighting for, worth cherishing, loved, whatever its flaws may be. It is not to be toyed with lightly.
Planning has to be a dialogue.