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Retool America's Post-Oil Economy: CNU's Dan Solomon nails new "national purpose" in San Francisco Chronicle | Congress for the New Urbanism

Retool America's Post-Oil Economy: CNU's Dan Solomon nails new "national purpose" in San Francisco Chronicle

In yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle, CNU co-founder Dan Solomon writes that the US has both the need and the opportunity to rally around a new national sense of purpose. And he does a heck of a job of summarizing that purpose in one sentence: "The idea that is emerging from many sources in different forms is to retool America - its cities, its industry, its infrastructure and its landscape - to flourish in the post-oil economy of the mid-21st century."

If you've read his book Global City Blues or seen his riveting CNU presentation "Whatever Happened to Modernity," you know Dan is a fine writer capable of highly revealing historical insights on how art, culture, development and politics combine to affect the lives of people from all walks of life. His take here on lessons from the New Deal for President-Elect Obama should certainly be heard and remembered.

Although we've seen a lot of the pragmatic Obama in recent weeks, Solomon calls for the visionary to re-emerge, clarifying our national purpose and stir us to action with the power of his words. Writes Solomon:

Creating the post-oil economy and the post-oil culture in America is an imperative as stark as the need to win World War II. It is a need that should inform everything: the size and location of schools, the kinds of crops grown near cities, land-use policy and density controls, assistance for urban workforce housing, transportation policy in all its manifestations. It has been said that the tide of battle turned during 1942 because Winston Churchill unleashed the full fury of the English language on the Axis powers. How different the entire policy landscape might be if the eloquence and clarity of our new president unifies the work of this generation of Americans.

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