Andres Duany a "reasonable" visionary, says Times-Picayune

Andres Duany’s suggestions on how to save New Orleans may be falling on fertile ground these days. My analysis: people are beginning to sense Duany's’ genuine appreciation for New Orleans, a city which evokes his emotional attachment to similar cities found in his native Cuba, and that his suggestions are addressing practical concerns such as parking issues voiced by local residents. People are seeing that Duany is not playing SimCity with their town.

Art critic Doug MacCash shows that the fearless new urbanist and consulting New Orleans planner Andres Duany has been gaining the respect of skeptics by being real and talking straight. MacCash casts the way Duany speaks about New Orleans as a disciplining parent or a critical life-long friend rather than that of an outsider. His suggestion to install some solid city codes rather than investing in quick-fix touristy projects like “Reinventing the Crescent” is resonating in many ears.

Duany cares too much about New Orleans to not prescribe the appropriate long-term medicine the city needs and with the contextual sensitivity its residents demand. This article suggests the people of New Orleans as well as the media are starting to agree.

The Times-Picayune
The visionaries
Sunday, December 10, 2006
By Doug MacCash
Art critic


When Duany was asked if he could be added to a list of "the genius architects" brought in to save the city, he was adamant.

"I am not one of the genius architects," he said. "I write codes. The basic theme is this: Cities require fundamentals to be in place."

Duany listed safe streets, good schools, a working water supply, walkability and transit as the sort of citywide fundamentals that need to be addressed before a project like the "Reinventing the Crescent" or the proposed Thom Mayne-designed New Orleans Jazz Park, which he declared to be nothing more than a "doormat for the Hyatt," could be undertaken. Both plans remain entirely on the drawing board and in the imaginations of their proponents.


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