I was digging through San Antonio regulations this week, and thought I’d share a few of my favorites.
Allowed food vending downtown:
10.26.2 Pre-packaged, Non-potentially hazardous food items (not allowed on Alamo
10.26.3 Hot Dogs (not allowed on Alamo Plaza)
10.26.4 Steamed Corn (not allowed on Alamo Plaza)
10.26.5 Ice Cream (not allowed on Alamo Plaza)
And, assuming you do want to sell steamed corn to tourists:
6.11.2 All petitioners are required to receive approval of their cart design by the City’s Historic Preservation Office (HPO).
On the other hand, if you want to take your canoe out in the San Antonio river, go here to apply for a free permit. But beware:
Willful body contact with water is prohibited.
The project of writing a blog has a lot to do with engaging in dialogue. And so the decision to relaunch Scattered Work as a planning blog for San Antonio has led me to start exploring the urbanist blog scene. One site I’ve just come across this morning is Discovering Urbanism (via Market Urbanism via this Kevin Drum post). The newest entry on the site makes a very important point: the idea of revitalizing the city core is at heart an ethical project. Downtown gives us a place to encounter people different from ourselves; and without those encounters we have very little reason to think about ethics or the nature of community.
This relates to my previous post about Facebook and the balkanization of the Internet. But the big question is whether we are going to allow ourselves to embrace social instability on a personal level, and bring improvisation into our interactions. It’s a very difficult and awkward thing to do. Most of us are very relieved to move past our teen years, where the bulk of our social improvisation happens. I hope to make the case in the coming months that our spaces can and should be constructed to encourage the exploration of new social patterns. I currently have no idea how this would look, but with the help of blogs like Discovering Urbanism, I’m going to take a crack at it.
My first real post on Scattered Work mentioned the importance of stable social space (i.e. the deep social connections formed in neighborhoods where several generations stay basically in the same place), and now I’m praising instability in our personal interactions. Yes, both are important, and yes, I think this is a central paradox of planning, and well, living. I expect to be banging my head against this paradox a lot.
Research (my Evernote clips)
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