May 20, 2007

But what about the visual environment?

From the New York Times:

Why Are They Greener Than We Are?

When it comes to designing buildings that are good for the environment, Europe gets it.

What the hell is this? A giant periscope? A robot octopus' tentacle with a big sucker on the tip?


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I particularly liked the one about the tax collection office under a reflecting pool (urban speak for pond)in the Netherlands (Apeldoorn). The article claims two benefits for the office under the pond: security and temperature regulation (sic). But of the two they really emphasized security. Apparently the pond stood in for razor wire and other security measures.

Would it really take a genius (particularly in the Netherlands) to figure out how to pull a plug from a dike? Got tax problems, no worries. Nothing a stick of dynamite casually pitched out of a passing car window wouldn't fix...

Mark said...

The article claims two benefits for the office under the pond: security and temperature regulation (sic). But of the two they really emphasized security.

Doesn't it say something sad that, in an era of "democracy," the government feels such pressing need to protect itself against its own citizens?

It says something sad - but mostly not about the citizens.

Dave said...

Steve,

I'm surprised you didn't mention the article on the city of Curitiba in Brazil. It bears some relevance to the immigration debate here, though the author of the article didn't bother to connect the dots.

Curitiba, as the Times reporter noted, was largely populated by the descendants of European immigrants. Under far-sighted leadership of urban planners and architects like Jaime Lerner, the city became a model for the possibilities of building a livable, ecologically sound, pedestrian-friendly city. Success led to (domestic) immigration, from more rural areas, particularly of browner-skinned, more "third world"-looking migrants, according to the writer of the article.

The result? Curitiba's enlightened master plan is now strained, and its environment and livability are backsliding with sewage polluting its rivers, etc.

Mark said...

re: Curitiba

A metaphor for the whole Western world, no?

tommy said...

Dave,

Sounds similar to the problems the Paraguayan Mennonites have been having. Here is an article from a few years ago.

It tells you something about the complete lack of productivity of Latin Americans when intentionally primitive German Mennonites are one of the great success stories of your society. Can you imagine Americans chasing after the Amish like that?

Mark said...

Success led to (domestic) immigration, from more rural areas, particularly of browner-skinned, more "third world"-looking migrants...The result? Curitiba's enlightened master plan is now strained, and its environment and livability are backsliding with sewage polluting its rivers, etc.

People of non-Western cultures desire the advantages of civilized life, but many of them don't want to live by the rules. In our modern PC, non-discriminating world, that means that people of lower standards will ALWAYS drive out people with higher ones. The lower standard folks are more than happy to live next door to people who don't play loud music, don't commit crimes, clean up their trash, mow their lawns, don't park their cars on the grass, and take down their Christmas decorations sometime before July.

People with higher standards can't stand it. That's one reason neighborhood covenants, in spite of all the intrusiveness, have become so common. No one likes the lady who tears down their yard sale signs and tries to ban Christmas lights, but better her than the Clampett family (to be racially sensitive) living next door.

It's a solid argument for the fact that race is very real, and more than just skin deep. It relates, I suppose, to genealogy and gene flow between various groups.

Steve Sailer said...

Now I looked at the NYT article, and, yes, apparently this building is supposed to look like a giant periscope: "Neutelings and Riedijk’s Shipping and Transport College peers like a periscope over the port of Rotterdam."

Perhaps the architects were under the impression that most Dutch shipping and transport is via submarine?

Anonymous said...

Could someone please provide a link to the article on Curitiba?
Thanks in advance

TabooTruth said...

Almost any comparison between "backward" US and "efficient, advanced" Europe has to take into account the US having to deal with low-IQ minorities eating up local budgets.

Make 15-20% of the population Arab and North African Muslim in a France, Netherlands, or Germany, or Denmark. Then, I'll be willing to consider comparisons with the US's 25% black/hispanic demographics.

Dave said...

Tommy:

"It tells you something about the complete lack of productivity of Latin Americans..."

Interesting about the Mennonites, but South America is a complex picture when it comes to productivity and development. They do some things down there better than us -- e.g., Brazil freeing itself from dependence on foreign oil, Chile adopting a cutting-edge Social Security system based on private accounts, etc. (Brazil and Chile were dictatorships at the time these policies were initiated, so politics wasn't a hindrance). Regarding Curitiba (which I'd like to visit someday), Brazil does some things a lot worse than us, including being too tolerant of squatters.

The NY Times article doesn't mention it, but when the migration to Curitiba was heavy, but not as heavy as it is now, then-mayor Jamie Lerner started offering the poor migrants one hour consults with professional architects, who helped these folks build rational homes, one room at a time (they could add rooms as they could afford it). Sounds like the influx got to heavy for all that.

I don't know as much about Curitiba, but I have often wondered why Brazil didn't buy out the favela dwellers in places like Rio de Janeiro. Some of those slums are on choice real estate -- hilltops with city and ocean views. Brazil could sell the rights to that land to condo developers, and use the proceeds from that sale to build new housing for the slum dwellers in the exurbs, and give them cold cash if they agree to move there. Anyhow...

Anonymous:

"Could someone please provide a link to the article on Curitiba?

Here you go: The Road to Curitiba