The City Builder Book Club is reading The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs. 50 years after its original publication, planners still have much to learn about meddling. So many of the challenges we’re trying to overcome in cities and suburbs originated from professionals fighting against a free market for the alleged greater good.
This might be a tad harsh, but reading Jacobs reminds me of a C.S. Lewis quote:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.