by Sonya Jongsma Knauss
Since 1993, when Mayor Norquist signed on as a charter member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, he has been promoting its principles religiously in Milwaukee. The goal? Strengthen Milwaukee as an urban center that offers people the kinds of benefits and amenities that only a city can provide, with its dense population of diverse peoples and opportunities. . . . Norquist took an hour and a half recently to talk with us at Bean Head, a minority-owned coffee shop on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive that he never misses a chance to champion.
The Seaside Debates: A Critique of the New Urbanism
by Erik J. de Kok
A professor of mine in the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College of the City University of New York recently returned from a two-week vacation on the Gulf Coast in the Florida panhandle. I asked her if she had the chance to visit Seaside, the infamous neotraditional town, featured in the movie The Truman Show and designed by a team of architects and planners who would later on become some of the founders of a movement known as the New Urbanism. She replied that she had spent several days there, walking and talking with people in the shops and others hanging out on the street or near the beach. So I asked her what she thought of the place, and she told me that she witnessed what she could only describe as “an overpriced resort where the only ‘regulars’ are minority service workers and cleaning ladies, who can’t even afford to live in the town.” In fact, she said that most of the original single-family buildings were quickly converted to rental housing for vacationers, once the owners realized their income-generating potential.