WorldChanging takes on Obama’s choice for Transpo Secretary, that is considerably less optimistic (and probably more accurate) than mine:
This one-time wave of funding will do one of two things: it will further entrench a broken system, or it will begin to build a new and better one. In the next six years, we’ll either dump hundreds of billions of dollars into highways, roads and bridges or we’ll begin to revitalize our communities and transform our economy. Sprawl or urban renaissance? That’s ultimately the choice we have.
All that fever now feels passe. Architecture students, I’m told, are more interested in so-called “green architecture,” work that responds to the global crisis of climate and resources, than they are in artistic shape-making. They’re interested in urbanism, in the ways buildings gather to shape streets and neighborhoods and public spaces. They research new materials and methods of construction. Increasingly, they’re collaborating with students in other fields, instead of hoping to produce a private ego trip.
And lastly, I rather enjoyed this critique of the notorious front-runner, Thomas Friedman.