A Fable for New Urbanists
The Coyote blog post on city planning reminded me of the “New Urbanism” movement. New Urbanism was largely based on Jane Jacob's criticism of compusory suburbanization zoning laws. I think the the following story (grepable version here) is apropos:
A friend, whose family was slightly more affluent than my own in its time, had been condemned to endless piano practice despite the fact that she was virtually tone deaf. Painstakingly, she memorized enough piano compositions of one sort or another to complete the course and then never ceased to bewail the fact that she had not been allowed to have dancing lessons, for it was dancing that she had really wanted to learn.
I said, “At least you won’t make your mother’s mistake with your own daughter.”
“Certainly not,” she said fiercely. “Whether she likes it or not, my daughter is going to dance.”