Urban 2.0

The politicians have had their shot at the cities. Now it’s the coders’ turn:

The phenomenon of the software khans starting to deploy their vast oceans of capital into remaking the American public square is just beginning to grow. [Zappos’ Tony] Hsieh in Vegas, Quicken’s Dan Gilbert in Detroit, and others are beginning to take advantage of the devastation that the Blue State model has wreaked on America’s cities (and, not incidentally, at the same time lowering property acquisition costs dramatically) in order to build new visions of urban organization and structure.

The Millennials who will live and work in these new places are famously cooperative, collaborative, and group-think oriented. These new urban approaches will cater to those tendencies.

Here in the Big Breezy, where urban decay is (mostly) pushed off to the side, we’re not seeing exactly this sort of renaissance — after a couple of successful rounds of MAPS, the third is somehow provoking fractiousness — but we have those Millennials in place, so we may get similar results, if there are indeed any results to be had. And besides:

[T]his is the sort of change I would expect to see as the bankruptcy of the American political model becomes more apparent, and the wreckage created by it becomes more widespread.

And frankly I would much rather see this coming from the gazillionaires of tech than from the hapless, pathetic dinosaurs of Washington, D.C.

Silicon Valley is famously blue; replacing the old-think, Democratic Party version of blue with the high-tech New (Somewhat) Blue almost has to be an improvement.


  1. Bill Quick »

    11 August 2013 · 10:09 am

    Chaz, I think that Silly Valley is actually Pink – liberal in social policy, conservative in fiscal and government policy. In other words, Pink is the color for Libertarians.

    They tend to donate Democrat because that way they don’t have to support GOP stuff like antigay bigotry, abortion jihad, educational barbarism, and xenophobia. But their driving motor isn’t the Marxism that motivates the classic Blue Left.

  2. CGHill »

    11 August 2013 · 10:54 am

    There’s a lot to be said for not supporting GOP stuff, particularly that GOP stuff, since it gets all the headlines.

  3. McGehee »

    12 August 2013 · 7:24 am

    Headlines on stories written by people who never actually look into what’s really going on, because that would mess up the headlines.

    I think Silicon Valley is populated by people who can’t even be bothered to watch Jon Stewart for themselves, so they just believe what other people tell them he said. After all, checking into things for themselves would disrupt the groupthink they’re so comfortable with.

    Nothing that caters to such tendencies can possibly end well.

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