Housing Complex

Morning Links

A vandal splattered green paint on the Lincoln Memorial. [AP]

Support from some councilmembers on D.C. United deal, doubts from others. [Post]

What the deal means for the Southwest waterfront [WBJ]

Universities get in on the development game. [GGW]

Car2Go in D.C.: 26,000 members, just 300 cars (for now). [UrbanTurf]

Cyberattack takes LivingSocial down a notch. [Post]

A "museum in reverse" on the Mall? [WJLA]

What makes a neighborhood appear safe? [Atlantic Cities]

Mystery buyer springs for R Street firehouse. [UrbanTurf]

Today on the market: Amenities galore by Union Station

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    Emily Badger is none too bright. Despite the well formed article, her fundamental thesis is absurd: that cities can turn turds into gold by changing "the perception" (visual) of streets.

    Human danger perception, as the author acknowledge, is a brain stem, semi-conscious response to millions of visual data processed with years of good and bad experiences. However, it is only a proxy for reality, not reality itself. Ms. Badger implies that changing this visual reality, will somehow lessen the danger response. It will do nothing however for the actual danger.

    The neighborhood is not dangerous because of it's physical state, it's dangerous because the immediate inhabitants make it so. People who use force and intimidation to achieve goals, i.e. the anti-social, highly correlate to many other anti-social behaviors some of which revolve around lack of interest in proper refuse disposal, lack of care for communal and private property and lack of interest in engaging with city services (police, among others which may result in trouble for themselves).

    Outer (East) Capitol Hill is a perfect example of this thesis. In the late 80's and 90's the area was a wasteland of burned out buildings housing drugs, crime and prostitution. Using Emily's thesis, the proper solution would be to "change the visual perception" of the streets. In our case, the city did nothing and the anti-social were simply moved out of the area (through tearing down slums, incarceration, and generational replacement) and were replaced with properly functioning members of society (morals, education, family, and careers). Today we have some of the most sought after and expensive real estate in the city, with the physical changes minor and being a result of implementation by functional members of society.

    The hill, like most of DC has a long way to go, but the pockets of anti-social individuals are slowly being removed and replaced.