Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The simulated city...


Super article by Richard Reep in New Geography contrasting the traditional US downtown with what he calls the 'simulated city', the world of the theme park, the beachfront and the management entertainment environment:

It is a city where your expectations as an urban connoisseur are completely fulfilled; decrepitude, blight, and eyesores are disallowed. Even better, a simulated city’s employees are rigorously trained to be cheerful and bright. No homeless people lounge on park benches, and there’s no visible crime, since there is no apparent indigence, want, or fear. Although it would not be turned away, the riskiest tranche of society seems to shun the simulated city. Its design reflects mainstream success, and discourages subversion, by having no alleys, no trashy areas, and no low income community adjacent to it.

This is the city as a playground - safe, sanitised and filled with everything good and nothing bad. But, just like the real city, patrolled, regulated and rules-bound. The down side is that these simulated cities are only for those willing to pay - in cash and effort.



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