Chris Blattman

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Will someone please send to South Sudan the collected works of Jane Jacobs?

Via Roving Bandit, a purported model of the new capital city of South Sudan:

Just when you thought the garden city movement was dead, there comes this. Replacing Kurtz with Le Corbusier? Not a good plan.

While we are shipping Death and Life of Great American Cities, we should also be sure to include Jim Scott’s Seeing Like A State. (Incidentally, if you work in policy and have not read these books, put them at the top of your pile.)

Of course, it could be worse. Earlier plans called for this to be the new capital design:

Poetically, the head is zoned for government, the bum is the bus station, and the crotch is “rural socialized housing”.

8 Responses

  1. If this is true, this is one of the most biting satires on the craziness and absurdity of urban planning.

    It’s the type of thing you would expect in a skit on, say, “Saturday Night Live” if they were to make fun of the social engineering of cities.

    Richard Ebeling

  2. I like the Rhino. Rearranging the locations of the offices would also help give the politicians and bureaucrats a sense of their serve-the-people functions useful to an African nation.

  3. Isn’t this a little unfair when the author of the blog you linked to is not able to say where this model was presented or by whom?

  4. I am a software engineer interested in the field of development studies. Thanks for tipping about Jim Scott’s Seeing Like A State. I have added this into the wish-list of reading. Will read in coming years..

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