Arnold Schwarzenegger announces moratorium on all further road construction.
SACRAMENTO, CA–The California governor proclaimed today that he would not allow any road construction or “improvement” projects to move forward until each project can be scrutinized for their impact on pedestrians and the local community. “I want to be the Number One Placemaker in the whole world,” Schwarzenegger announced. “It’s all about context, baby.”
The new policy, announced March 30 at the massive Roseville Automall near Sacramento, is expected to bring all road construction to a halt across the state. Anticipating this move for several months, contractors are now submitting bids for bikepaths, rail projects and pedestrian zones.
Insiders suggest that the governor’s wife Maria Shriver played a large role in this transportation turnaround. Even more surprising, California’s first family is selling all their Hummers and buying recumbent bicycles for family trips around Sacramento and L.A. The governor has even been seen in recent weeks riding Sacramento’s light rail trains.
World Bank and IMF embrace Placemaking as essential tool in sustainable development
WASHINGTON, DC–Placemaking will become even more of a global movement now that the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have incorporated its principles into their programs for the developing world. “No loan goes out of this office if it does not in some way enhance the capacity for people around the world to gather together as friends, neighbors, and citizens,” announced Frederick Law Olmsted VI, the IMF’s newly appointed vice-president for Public Spaces, as Tony Goldman, his counterpart at the World Bank (and a PPS board member) triumphantly raised a Luxembourg Gardens-style park chair overhead. These chairs, which can be moved to allow people to sit in the sun all day or draw closer for a conversation, have become a potent symbol for the international Placemaking movement.
All World Bank and IMF programs in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Antarctica will emphasize farmers markets, pedestrian amenities, transit and bicycle transportation, traffic calming, a voice for the local community in all decisionmaking, independent business initiatives, ambitious park programs, and the proliferation of espresso stands and ice cream parlors. “Gone are the days when we pushed freeways, cash crops grown for export, social service cuts, and airports down the throats of the world’s poor,” declared a beaming Olmsted. “We now see that prosperity depends on great public places.”
FLDOT forces Disney World to open amusement park to cars, commercial traffic.
ORLANDO, FL–Under howls of protest from corporate leaders at Disney, as well as families and children’s advocacy groups around the world concerned about safety risks, the Florida Department of Transportation (FLDOT) announced today that Disney World and other pedestrian-oriented tourist attractions would be opened to traffic. The agency said it needs “every right of way it could get” to accommodate the demands of the automobile in this fast growing state.
Citing growth figures that show traffic demands increasing geometrically in the county and across the state, FL DOT officials delivered the news to Disney executives in a closed-door meeting last week. “The needs of the residents of this county and state outweigh the needs of a few shoppers and fun-seekers,” said a department spokesperson, who declined to be identified. “Besides,” said the official, “they can walk just fine on the sidewalks, and now they can have the convenience of driving between Treasure Island and the Country Bears Jamboree, which is an awful long way to walk if you ask me.”