Talk:Urban decay

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This article was preserved after a vote for its deletion. See its archived VfD entry for details.

LrdChaos (talk) 15:25, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

How to focus?[edit]

How can we better focus this theme page?Futurebird 17:55, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed some quotes that aren't about urban decay[edit]

I've removed many of the quotes from this page, as they aren't really about urban decay in any direct and/or general sense. You may disagree, but please consider my explanations before simply re-adding them to the page.

  • FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.
    • New York Daily News, Headline, October 30, 1975.
This quote only applies to New York, and without some extra reading it doesn't make any sense. In the 1970s, New York City was in the midst of a severe financial crisis, and then-President Ford announced his intention to veto any bill that would provide relief funding to the city. It has nothing to do with the larger theme of urban decay, only that the federal government would not help New York City in this case.
  • There it is, ladies and gentlemen: The Bronx is burning.
    • Howard Cosell, live television announcer, Game Two of the 1977 World Series, when a fire broke out near Yankee Stadium in the South Bronx.
  • In the South Bronx, the average number of people per engine is over 44,000. In Staten Island, it's 17,00. There is no standard for manning areas of multiple dwellings as opposed to one- and two family residences.
    • Chief X, a battalion chief from the New York City Fire Department interviewed in the BBC-TV special "The Bronx is Burning," in 1976.
Cosell's quote doesn't really seem to apply to the larger theme, and although Wikipedia does say "Historians of New York City frequently point to Cosell's remark as a sign of both the city and the borough's descent into anarchy during times of widespread vice," I don't believe that the quote can, even with some explanation, sufficiently and obviously represent urban decay (especially since the phrase, as originally used, applied to series of arsons in the '60s and '70s, which were but a symptom of the large urban decay in NYC). The quote from the BBC special (named for the quote), doesn't really apply to urban decay either. Again, it's highly specific to New York City, and also to the fire department coverage of certain areas of the city, and lacks any direct and obvious connection to urban decay (it might represent the city's view of the Bronx at that point in time, and the Bronx may have been in a state of urban decay, but I find this far too indirect).
  • A great wind swept over the ghetto, carrying away shame, invisibility and four centuries of humiliation. But when the wind dropped people saw it had been only a little breeze, friendly, almost gentle.
Not sure how this only applies to urban decay; the context line acknowledges that it's about the ride and fall of the Blank Panthers. While you could probably make a convincing argument that the Black Panthers formed and gained momentum from amount blacks living in decaying urban areas, it's too much of a stretch between the quote and the theme.
This quote applies to any group which is "unheard", regardless of the state of the city they might live in. While rioting is something that might be associated with urban decay, it's not caused by urban decay and the link here is too tenuous.
  • I asked myself, “Where are the contemporary ruins? Where are the ruins in progress? Where are our once great cites that are being abandoned as these ones were?”
This quote seems to be exactly opposite the theme, and almost seems to say that urban decay isn't really a problem. The question appears to be asking "where are the modern ruins" that could compare to the ancient ones; but by raising that question, it seems that there's no obvious answer, which I take to mean that the questioner couldn't find any examples of where cities have fallen into ruin. Perhaps this is taken out of context, but without a source it's impossible to say.
  • Ogling ruins is way of meditating on our own inevitable deaths, and also, one assumes, of acknowledging our own hubris and that of our own civilizations. A humbling reminder that, yes, it all does return to dust, no matter how tall, massive or impregnable the buildings might be. There is, I admit, impressive survival — the tombs of Egypt — but it’s all for nothing in the end. The collapse, one senses, is always inevitable, despite leaders’ claims to eternal good and greatness.
This seems to apply to a different theme, namely that of ruins. I can't find any direct connection between the quote and the theme, other than that it mentions that even modern buildings will become ruins, but this isn't really a statement about urban decay, just that civilizations come and go and they leave behind ruins.
  • Even while you read this whole square miles of identical boxes are spreading like gangrene . . . developments conceived in error, nurtured by greed, corroding everything they touch.
    • John Keats, The Crack in the Picture Window (1956)
This doesn't apply to urban decay, in my reading; it applies to urban/suburban sprawl, where there is growth that's spreading out over everything.

I also have doubts about the connection of the Bunting quote (about redlining) to the theme, but I've left that in as it seems to be enough. However, I'd like to find out the context of his statement, and any remarks that surrounded it, because it's entirely possible that his quote had nothing to do with urban decay. —LrdChaos (talk) 15:42, 26 January 2007 (UTC)