American Century types like to complain that this country doesn’t make anything anymore or if we do it’s artisanal cheese and not steel. But as this article points out, that cheese or other basement production is often where the big stuff starts. How can we forget Apple’s garage beginnings.
So if economies are shifting, at least in some small way, to local production and services, are our communities able to accomodate new jobs?
According to Mike Pyatok, interviewed in Better Cities and Towns, “Most planning regulations are based on the Euclidean model that separates cities into zones accommodating a single use, which true live-work is decidedly not.”
While Pyatok is pointing out that the rules of subsidized housing preclude small scale economic ventures, the article’s author, Thomas Dolan, describes a white collar version of live-work. Rather than colonizing a Starbucks, office freelancers could work in the ground floor of a live-work building where they can share services and ideas.
With economies shifting, our notion of what a good commuity is may shift as well. Will it continue to be the suburban ideal of green separation or will connections be more important?