DWELLING ON THE PAST

The current issue of Dwell magazine has a great story with pretty pictures about the infill housing project of Edward Baum and Diane Cheatham. The four townhomes sold out within weeks of completion two years ago, but they provide promise for future similar developments. At the end of the story, Baum, an architecture professor at UT-Arlington, shares the following anecdote and advice about urban planning with the article’s author, Andrew Wagner:

“A while back, Andrès Duany [of New Urbanism fame] was in town and city leaders asked him, ‘What can we do to bring people back to inner-city Dallas in meaningful numbers?” Baum smiles slyly before continuing. “Duany said to them, ‘You can hire me and pay me thousands of dollars for advice and plans you’ll never use. Or,'” and at this point Baum can’t help but chuckle knowingly, “you can build two elementary schools and a high school right downtown and staff it with good people and the rest will take care of itself.'”

Sounds like a good plan. Wonder what those city leaders ever did with it.

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