Do it Indiana style
I've had this idea gnawing at me for a few weeks to write a piece (or three, or maybe a book since I can’t seem to shut up about this) about how everyone, especially conservatives, should learn to embrace hipster-lefty-urban-renewal ideas to ensure their cities remain viable and afloat, saving everyone tons in taxes to fight the effects of poverty and other sprawl-created ills.
Wow that was a long sentence.
My inspiration is this piece about a small town in Indiana that's remarkably vibrant and pleasant to be in thanks to people-friendly initiatives such as better pedestrian infrastructure and free transit. I'm also a big fan of Portland, Ore, where various revival measures from the 1970s on have created a supremely pleasant city where everyone feels welcome. (No sales taxes in Oregon either, always nice, that.) I visited that city once in 2004 and to this day I still dream of living there. Also of ripping out every urban highway, very much including the one in my own town.
When your city centre is filled with happy prosperous people, and not just grumpy office workers during business hours and drunk party-goers at night, everyone does well including conservatives in their suburbs.
Whenever I say stuff like this to conservatives they then scoff (or snort) and tell me to stop dreaming or move in with the hippies. But they’d be happy if their tax bill went down and their quality of life went up, just as much as anyone else.
So, warm up your coconut-milk flat white, people. Culture change is never easy. But like anything else worth doing, it’s, er, worth doing.