Are Los Altos’ politics, design & finance lined up for great things to happen?

Are Los Altos’ politics, design & finance lined up for great things to happen?

Interesting ideas from a recent New York Times item – What Design Brings to New York’s Table (http://nyti.ms/SQJnkP):

“The primary responsibility of [the urban design division of the New York City Department of City Planning]… is making the civic Cityscape, streets included, a more palatable place, with space for pedestrians to ambulate, explore, and, when the site is right, linger.”

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“The team studies what makes great places: the width of the sidewalk, the spacing of street trees, the diversity of retail – and they integrate these details in our plans, turning projects into places that people want to be.”

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“… nothing great is going to happen in a city unless you can get politics, design and finance to line up together.”

Are Los Altos’ politics, design & finance lined up for great things to happen?

What makes for successful cities?

What makes for successful cities?

A recent New York Times article about chaos on the web analogized it to the chaos that makes for successful cities:

“The most successful cities achieve a kind of organized chaos — a rich, dense and varied mix of different kinds of people, ideas and businesses, constantly colliding in new and interesting ways”, observed urban activist Jane Jacobs in her 1961 landmark book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”

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“Ms. Jacobs prized chaos, but not the kind that marginalized or terrorized those living in it. She advocated a kind of beautiful disarray that may look hectic from the outside, but is actually safe for those within. ‘Cities,’ she wrote, ‘have the capability of providing something for everybody only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.’”

(When the Web’s Chaos Takes an Ugly Turn, By Jenna Wortham, October 20, 2012, New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/technology/a-reddit-forum-prompts-questions-of-where-to-draw-a-line.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 )

How can everybody in Los Altos be meaningfully engaged in evolving it as a successful city?