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Joel Kotkin: What You're For, I'm Against

In yesterday's California Planning & Development Report, Bill Fulton (whose Guide to California Planning is a staple among urban planners) takes the increasingly delusional Joel Kotkin to task for his continued opposition to logical and necessary growth and development in Los Angeles. Kotkin's contrarian pundancy, typified by his latest Times editorial "Why the rush to Manhattanize L.A.?" is what finally sets Fulton off.

"It’s hard to believe that a few thousand condos in downtown L.A. could kick up such a ruckus in Kotkin’s soul. After all, it’s only a small part – though an important part – of a much more wide-ranging evolution of Los Angeles as an urban place. What’s emerging in L.A. is a series of downtowns and activity centers of various densities strung across the landscape. And it seems odd for Kotkin to get so exercised about it, because this seems to be pretty much exactly what Joel himself has been calling for in speech after speech and article after article over the past several years. In fact, this is exactly what the Los Angeles General Plan of the 1970s – the famous “centers concept” plan – called for. L.A. is not so much Manhattanizing as Pasadena-izing." Fulton further dissects Kotkin's bizarre rantings and looks at LA's history of growth. We'll leave it to someone else to try and figure out why the Times and Daily News keep giving Kotkin's shrill nay-saying valuable print space.
· It's Time To De-Kotkinize The Planning Debate [CP&DR]