Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 16 Moses v Jacobs

Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs represent competing visions of the American city. Robert Moses was a master freeway planner epitomizing the automobile world of tomorrow. Jacobs was champion of the new urbanism, street scapes where people walked and communed with each other and pedestrian-scaled small business. Little Portland rejected Moses' vision, handed down on consultant tablets in 1943 and embraced a Jacobs plan in 1972. The rest is history, with Portland mandated mixed use development, activating streets and community.

New York is different, with dense community neighborhood. Moses planned modern New York, in particular enabling vast suburbs to the East and West. He also controlled public housing and recreation, which could have turned out much differently.

This evening Carl Abbott from PSU and Anthony Flint, author of Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City, provide their interpretation of the clash of these titans in the context of Portland as it it today and where they see it going. The inimitable Randy Gragg moderates this instance of the Bright Light series sponsored by the City Club of Portland and the Portland Spaces Magazine.

At Powell's Books, 10th and W Burnside 7PM Free