One of the advantages of living in a rich country is that with enough political will, money is no object. Billions have been spent on going to the Moon, developing weapons of mass destruction and social welfare with very little oversight, accountability or even an evaluation on the sensibility of the expenditure — after decades of spending billions on education for little or no improvement, it’s still incredibly controversial to suggest that a lack of spending isn’t the problem.
In light of the thinking that we don’t have a housing shortage as much as we have an urbanism shortage, I’ve come up with a brilliant scheme that, in my unbiased opinion, should win me the Nobel Peace Prize: we buy urbanism.
Many of the world’s most walkable neighborhoods are populated by people even poorer than Detroiters. Conversely, some of the world’s richest people, such as members of the Creative Class, want to live in walkable neighborhoods, but can’t because they don’t exist. Therefore, I propose that the rich people buy the walkable neighborhoods from the poor and have them shipped to America. It’d be easy — take a few photos and number the pieces as they come down. Ikea would have no problem adding it to their existing work.
While that’s being done, some superblock of towers in a park can be demolished to make way for the new neighborhood. Wait a week for shipping and handling and then quick as a flash the new, walkable neighborhood goes up and the old residents get their money, lifting them up out of poverty. Plus we get to demolish a damn superblock in the process.
This is the simplest solution to our urban problems. Much easier and less expensive than that ridiculous “change the law to alloow more walkable neighborhoods” idea everyone else has been working on.
Happy April Fools’ Day!