This week's APA conference is located across the street from the "happiest place on earth" -- with "place" in very ironic quotes. Here's what Disneyland, and Disney's latest "imagineering" efforts mean for planning today.
Just as new policies are arising in California to wean Californians off their cars, a force more powerful than public policy has arisen to get the next generation all amped up about driving. No, gas prices haven't plummeted and high speed rail isn't dead (yet). Those would be child's play compared to Cars Land -- the newest "world" at Disney's California Adventure theme park.
Personally, I think there's a way for Disney to make lemonade out of the lemons of this dispute over housing near Disneyland in Anaheim. Given that affordable housing is a clearly one-way ticket to blight and criminality -- at least according to some critics in Anaheim -- Disney should capitalize on the setting, and "theme" its third gate as "Disney's Urban Adventure."
It's the oldest contract in the world: I'll scratch your back, if you'll scratch mine. The Walt Disney Co. recently worked a variant on this contract when it agreed to help the City of Anaheim obtain attractive interest rates for nearly $400 million in public improvements around Disneyland and the city's other big draws. On its face, the deal looks good. The town gets fixed up, and both the city and the theme park make money. Why would I care that The Walt Disney Co. was able to obtain at l...