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The Pile: Thoughts, Life, and Photography of Joshua Davis

Disney Tries Its Hand at Urban Planning, Again

Disney has united both Democratic and Republican law makers in Anaheim, California, by trying to override their city’s decision to rezone land next to their theme park.

According to Fast Food Nation, Disney, McDonald’s, and a few other similar corporations where responsible for the creation of the squeaky clean suburbs that 52% of Americans live in. It helped them to leave the “Over crowed cities filled with people who where different then them.” Of course Disney continues to help Americans escape reality with their movies, music, and other media.

But Disney has taken their fantasy world a bit far by opposing both the city of Anaheim and a developer who wants to build some affordable housing next to Disney’s fantasy land. In order for this to occur the land would have to be rezoned. Disney feels the presence of affordable housing – and the types that occupy them – would harm their park. So the very housing that men and woman dressing up as Mickey Mouse and serving funnel cakes at their park would live in, Disney doesn’t want.

They’ve spent over $1.5 million in collecting the necessary 3000 signatures to put the zoning up for vote. But that’s not all, a campaign of fear has been created that tries to give residents an image of the area being overrun by “Darker colored people committing crimes.” It will be interesting to see if Disney will be able to over ride the will of the city council, and those that elected them.

And Disney’s other experiment in urban planning, Celebration, Florida seems a failure to me. Conventional wisdom states affordable housing spread throughout an area help to reduce crime, but Disney choose to cluster development. Another mistake was that they developed a downtown before there was population to support it, resulting in many retail shops closing. So who better to plan a city, Disney, or the city council?

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Filed under: Economy and Business, Politics, The City and Suburbs

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