13 votes

You can’t talk about right-wing populism without talking about urban planning

1 comment

  1. patience_limited Link
    As discussed elsewhere, I've got strong opinions about the unsustainability and warped moral hazard of modern transit and urban development necrosystems. It's an interesting act of right-wing judo...

    As discussed elsewhere, I've got strong opinions about the unsustainability and warped moral hazard of modern transit and urban development necrosystems.

    It's an interesting act of right-wing judo to turn any attempt to address these problems into assaults on freedom capable of provoking violent backlash, e.g. the Gilets Jaunes movement. It's more complicated than "elites vs. simple freedom-loving folk".

    Take the 2010 campaign of late Toronto mayor Rob Ford and the 2018 campaign of his brother, current Ontario Premier Doug Ford, which Filion investigates in a new paper in the latest issue of Urban Planning. The Ford brothers both mobilized suburban Ontario voters by warning that external enemies–“downtown” urban planners–were waging a “war on the car” with public transit projects and bike lanes that would increase traffic for suburban drivers.

    Stateside, the Koch Brothers-funded American for Prosperity are fighting public transit referendums in cities ranging from Nashville to Tampa. The group demonized urban planners and defended “ordinary” people in a spring press release about Nashville’s proposed transit tax hike (emphasis mine):

    The free market can fix the traffic problem itself. We don’t need the government stepping in to ‘fix’ a problem we’re already taking care of by ourselves. Ride sharing services, food delivery services and the ability to order just about anything you need to your door are all ways we’re moving towards efficiency. And those are all ideas from ordinary people, not bureaucrats and city planners at high costs to the taxpayers.

    6 votes