“If you care about cities, about walkable communities, about healing the crappy environment thrust upon us for the last four decades in the form of suburban sprawl, then get a refund on that new iPad 3,” Kaid Benfield writes for Switchboard. “Take your iPhone back, too. Because its manufacturer, oh-so-hip Apple, Inc., is betting that the company is cool enough to get away with violating even the most basic tenets of smart growth and walkability in the sprawling, car-dependent design of its new headquarters. Don’t let them collect on that bet.”

“While communities all up and down the Silicon Valley are trying to repair sprawl by replacing it with smart growth, Apple is actually taking a site that is now parking lots and low-rise boxes and making it worse for the community,” Benfield writes. “Yes, it will be iconic, assuming you think a building shaped like a whitewall motorcycle tire is iconic, but it will reduce current street connectivity, seal off potential walking routes and, as I wrote some time back, essentially turn its back on its community. With a parking garage designed to hold over ten thousand cars, by the way.”

Benfield writes, “Apple seems to think it is hip enough to transcend what most of us want for the future from everyone else, and that the city of Cupertino will be so appreciative of the company’s jobs and tax revenue that high-concept design and the corporate equivalent of a gated community will be more important than trying to cut down on automobile dependence… The company didn’t have to do it this way. They could have built the site with a combination of corporate offices, new housing (the notorious shortage of affordable homes in the Silicon Valley causes much environmental damage), and neighborhood services… They could have helped create a real neighborhood by knitting together a district that is currently fractured spatially. They could have made this about the community rather than about themselves. But this isn’t really for the people, see; this is for the one percent. If the Occupy movement had a clue, there would be tents going up in Cupertino right now.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Attribution: MarketWatch. Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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