This weekend, Will Doig wrote about urban entertainment districts, or, as he dubbed them, "blocks where no one has fun." These carefully planned, corporate-financed, and completely artifical spaces are popping up in cities across the country, trying to take the authenticity of an urban arts and nightlife scene, and transform it into substantial profit for developers. The results are often disastrous. As a transportation planner observed, "You're getting the culture that one developer or city council member thinks the city needs, as opposed to the ground-up culture that comes from multiple players."
Creating hospitable, inclusive, artistic environments for inhabitants (and prospective inhabitants) is a major priority for post-industrial cities across America. As Enrico Moretti wrote this weekend, poorer cities need to start attracting young people urgently -- the city's survival depends on it.
What has your experience been with "urban entertainment districts"? Has your city developed responsibly or catered only to developers? We're looking for photographs, stories, and testimonials about this new phenomenon in American cities.
Be sure to tag your posts "no fun zones." We'll highlight the most relevant posts both on Open Salon and big Salon. Please note that by using the tag "no fun zones," you're giving us permission to cross-post your piece -- in part or in its entirety -- on Salon.