Friday, February 10, 2012

Who We Are

There is a core of activists, living in Columbia, who are seemingly obsessed with the notion that anyone living in the planned community shares some universal value of community. The People Tree codifies this notion for them; People working and living together in harmony. They see every action that occurs within the lien paying borders that geographically define the town through the glasses of Jim Rouse. Whether it is the removal of a graphic from a logo or making improvements to a public park, these self anointed “keepers of the flame,” righteously challenge any perceived affront to these values.

I wonder if Jim Rouse would be amused. He had a pretty good sense of humor.

Columbia is physically special. Its winding roads and abundant open space are a welcome departure from the typical suburban development of the sixties and the seventies. It also has funny street names.

And it’s full of people that are no different, or have any special values than any other community in the Baltimore Washington, D.C. corridor.

I started out to write this post about graffiti. Driving past the first phase of the new Blandair Park in Columbia today, I noticed that, even before anyone has had a chance to enjoy these wonderful new fields, vandals have already left their mark.
This happened right smack dab in the middle of Columbia. It could have just as easily occurred in Catonsville or Laurel. I’ll bet the profile of the perpetrator or perpetrators’ would be readily recognizable in all three communities.

When I got home I read this post by Julia McCready on her blog, Village Green/Town Squared. Julia takes issue with the notion of a mythical developer “Mr. GoodRouse” and the expectation that someone at Howard Hughes Corporation will now attempt to fill those shoes. That isn’t going to happen and she suggests that “waiting for the "Great Good" someone to make things right with Columbia leaves us vulnerable to anyone who knows the real rules of the game…”
blog comments powered by Disqus