City Journal contributing editor Christopher Rufo joins Brian Anderson to discuss an increasingly influential progressive faction in many cities—one that seeks to rebuild the urban environment to achieve a wide range of environmentalist and social-justice goals.

According to Rufo, these “New Left urbanists” rally around controversial (and often dubious) ideas like banning cars and constructing new public housing projects. While all urban residents want to improve their city’s quality-of-life, radical left-wing policies aren’t the way to get there.

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  1. colleenb Member

    I do think that people will eventually come to their senses about homelessness/mental illness/drug addiction and treat people with compassion. This does not mean letting live on the street with all their problems. HOWEVER, I do think it will take awhile and many will be neglected and/or die before we get back on course.

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  2. Texmoor Coolidge

    The backlash to homeless camping in Austin has gotten to such a point that two councilmembers proposed reversing it in specific parts of town today. Of course, the original decriminalization ordinance passed unanimously a few months ago. Too bad the city council didn’t give the public the time to organize against it as Denver did.

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  3. Jon1979 Lincoln

    It took roughly 30 years for the New Left urbanist ideas that blossomed in the 1960s to finally be overthrown in the 1990s, because they were operating in an environment with mostly like-minded people. Those people were at least sympathetic to those plans, and so they accepted a pretty sharp decline in urban quality-of-life to avoid admitting to themselves that the plans were bad governance, and even when the revolt finally happened, only a bare majority elected to change course at the outset.

    Two decades down the line, and many have either forgotten the reasons for their past decision, or simply weren’t around to experience the result of the progressive ideas of the 1960s. Whether or not we’re going to have to wait until the late 2040s for the urban voters to finally revolt again remains to be seen — for now the West Coast cities’ voters seem willing to accept the lower quality-of-life, if the alternative is not electing progressive politicians to local office, while New York is only starting to feel the effect of de Blasio’s changes. The downward slide still might not be bad enough by 2021 for voters not to replace their current mayor with another progressive.

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