Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jane Jacobs, esthete? (or why the High Line belongs in the Metro section)

While urbanism certainly encompasses questions of design, it equally involves politics, policy, and economics. So it was a little jarring to see, in today's New York Times, news that High Line Founders To Get Jane Jacobs Medal appear in the Arts section.

The High Line is a spectacular new park and, while it's spurred inventive architecture, it belongs in the Metro section. Last week, a front-page Times article about the High Line's notable ripple effects, After High Line’s Success, Other Cities Look Up, began on the front page, but jumped to the Metro section.

Oddly enough, online that article is assigned to the arts desk.

But the High Line has also generated controversy (as the New York Post reported last year) over its budget, high salaries to top officials, and plans for a "High Line Improvement District," a neighborhood tax that was put on hold.

Those are Metro stories, as were the stories about the long battle to turn the doomed railroad trestle into a park.

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