I know I'm a bad person for hijacking outlander content for a post. But this week has set an all-time record for being from hell, and, well, since it's tax season and all, perhaps we could all use a little break.
Two links have been going around recently, both concerning the grandaddy of all planned communities. Both sites offer detailed documentation and analysis:
I myself first learned of this glorious slice of postwar history many years ago, from a book called Yesterday's Tomorrows : Past Visions of the American Future. But it was more concerned with fanciful atomic age futurism than suburban planning. The book itself is great; not a popular collection of photographs and sarcastic captions, but an expanded catalouge for an exhibit prepared for the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service. As such, though it's too short (and too small), the book offers an acceptably in-depth and insightful treatment of its topic.
We've got a dilly of a planned community north of Phoenix, called -- unfortunately enough -- Anthem. It goes without saying that it's sterile, isolated, destructive of the desert, unable to support itself economically and above all, reeking of dystopic population control. But it also apparently got a pass on having to pony up tax dollars for infrastructure. As huge as it is (and growing; oh yes), it's serviced only by the same four lane highway that the rest of us have to use.
Consequently, we're seeing reports in the news about folks leaving for work Monday on Sunday night and staying in town all week. There's just no way to get the commuter traffic through. Though the various municipalities involved are scrambling to find money to fix the problem, at this point there is no plan to widen the freeway for NINE YEARS.
Somebody check me on this one -- it can't be right!