The last thing poor New Orleans needs is planning tips from Phoenix

Illustration by Matt Mignanelli[Source: Sarah Fenske, New Times, August 2, 2007] — I have to admit it.  When I heard that Mayor Phil Gordon was in New Orleans last week, announcing that Phoenix city planners will “help” that stricken city with planning and redevelopment, I laughed.  Hey, it’s better than crying, right?

Now, it’s true that New Orleans needs help, by the shovelful.  And it’s certainly true that we all ought to be pitching in. But the city of Phoenix offering its planning services?  Maybe Lindsay Lohan can give New Orleans some sobriety tips while we’re at it.  And George W. Bush can help them run a military invasion.

Here in Phoenix, we’re living in what’s got to be America’s worst-designed major city, a hideous grid of expensive new buildings with no curb appeal.  Even worse, we’re all gnashing our teeth, daily, as we navigate a post-apocalyptic wasteland of torn-up roads, orange barrels and giant, gaping holes in the ground.  Eventually, we’re going to have light rail and a new Sheraton, but downtown is such a mess these days that I get deja vu watching CNN — minus the car bombs, the dusty streets of Baghdad look just like my freakin’ neighborhood.  [Note: To read the full article, click here.]

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