The Atlantic Cities has a fascinating piece on the Tea Party’s objection to urbanism. Across the country, members are showing up at municipal planning meetings to fight the pro-sustainability “Agenda 21” plan proposed by the United Nations 20 years ago. While Agenda 21 is voluntary, Tea Partiers insist its existence is a way of “herding humanity into compulsory habitation zones.”
The protesters clearly feel there is a form of Moses-style planning going on today, but rather than highways, it’s high-speed rail and transit, and compact, mixed-use, dense development, all of which are designed to bring about long-term sustainability. As one Florida Tea Party activist put it, “compact development aka smart growth, aka New Urbanism, aka Traditional Neighborhood Design, aka Transit Oriented Development, aka Livable Communities, aka Sustainable Development … are all names meaning the same thing: they are anti-suburban, high-density dwelling design concepts that are part of the UN’s Agenda 21 and will make single family home ownership for our posterity unattainable.” Another summed it up this way: “We don’t want none of your smart growth communism.”
The author concludes that responding feels futile, since these activists aren’t interested in any form of compromise. But will angry Tea Partiers soon be showing up at Advisory Neighborhood Commission meetings?
Photo by Averain via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License