Thursday, August 10, 2006

Another Voice Questions Philly Casinos

Philadelphia has been slow to react to the urban menace of gambling. It wasn't until the casino operators submitted their proposals, designs and site plans that residents began to understand what it would be like to have a slots barn in the neighborhood. Because the most vocal opposition to the five casino proposals has been localized, there have been inevitable charges that the protest is just a nimby reaction. But in the Next American City, three of the city's most respected design professionals - all founding members of the Design Advocacy Group - go on the record saying Philadelphia doesn't need gambling.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did I read the same article that Inga did on this?
Would any of you draw the same summary conclusion?

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

Agreed, Anonymous. DAG is decidedly not anti-casino. While I have great respect for DAG and their work, I do question the hubris of many architects, designers, and planners which leads them to believe they can "design away" the negative social impacts that gambling that will register in our communities. Wasn't this the great failure of modernism in architecture? Haven't we learned this lesson? I don't believe this critique comes from NIMBYism either; rather, it begins with a realization that Philadelphia just won't fair well with 5000-slot casinos in two of our vital neighborhoods (wherever they may end up). Let's change the process and policy in Pennsylvania (corrupt, by the way) which has excluded the public from discourse on the matter and imposed this debacle on us. I want our esteemed architects and planners to focus their energy on projects that bring value to all residents of the city, instead of applying design band-aids to bad programs and projects. That said, I do thank the members of DAG for the work they have accomplished with respect to the potential casino sites and buildings.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Leah said...

Although yes I think there is not enough vocal opposition within Philadelphia [at the moment], I think it's because so little reporting goes on about it on a regular basis. And I completely agree with Jeremy's point in that Harrisburg removed the public from the process. We were given very little time to process this and react. I still feel like I'm only just beginning to understand the plans...and I'm actively reading every article I can get my hands on. Let me tell you that my neighbors certainly don't understand. I've spoken with them and they have no idea how many slots are coming and how it will affect traffic, crime, etc.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Matt Ruben said...

From the original article:

"Rather than protest the entire project with an uncompromising, NIMBY attitude, however, DAG set out to represent [community] concerns and to ensure that new construction neither marred the aesthetics of the city nor isolated the economic benefits of a casino. [...] DAG began an intensive advocacy campaign and developed several simple principles to ensure that gaming would benefit, not damage, Philadelphia’s neighborhoods."

What this highlights is that DAG is not anti-casino. They certainly are anti-the casino process as it has been foisted upon us - specifically with no way to ensure proper design controls. But their entire reason for getting involved here is to try to improve casino design and planning, not to oppose casinos outright.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous David said...

I would just like to point out that the Magazine is The Next American City, not New American City, and the post should therefore be corrected.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with several of the comments on the plans/designs. I have a hard time believing that anyone of a planning background could look at the design proposals submitted by the developers, and honestly say they have done their homework, and that these casino's will have any positive impact on our city, other than purely providing gambling revenues. To sum it up, it seems like we are now in the process of begging for our tourist's money through gambling revenues, rather than continuing the slower, but more sustainable revitalization our city is currently experiencing without the help of the goverment. Ultimately, I believe these casino's will do more harm then good, and we don't even seem to be getting a chance to do anything about it.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous supercasino said...

What is your opinion about on line casinos ?

12:50 PM  

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