Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New Orleans and optimism

so I"m back. thing is, I never know quite what to blog about... so I guess I'll tell you about my New Orleans class today.

Obviously, hurricane Katrina was really awful. From a design point of view though, it gives the city a chance to correct some of the major wrongdoings. and it gives the rest of us a chance to learn from all those mistakes. But how do we apply what we learned from NO? I think that architects, planners, etc need to practice what we preach. We talk all day long in classes about how sprawl is a bad thing (and very much was in NO... they sprawled out into the swamp, never a good place to build, and the place flooded) but no one is willing to give up what's needed to live in a more urban city. Change lies with my generation, but what I'm hearing from my classmates is that they're not willing to make even small changes in their own lives to become that difference. In my opinion, you lose the right to whine and complain when you refuse to become part of the solution. I fully believe that we all have the potential to change the world, if only we're willing. Perhaps my classmates are tainted by a world view of always looking out for themselves. But if we're the ones who are educated on the built environment, shouldn't we be the ones working to change all that?

I got pretty shot down in class today for my optimism and I'm okay with that. I'm not willing to let their negative opinions taint that. I really am convinced that if we educate the public on what it is that we deal with everyday, that we can start to reverse (or at least stop) the way we currently live.