I came across an interesting op-ed in the New York Times this morning called “What Tech Hasn’t Learned from Urban Planning.” It basically talks about how, despite the fact that tech companies are increasingly moving from the suburbs to the city, they haven’t yet figured out how to be urban.
“The tech sector’s embrace of urbanist lingua franca and its enthusiasm to engage with urban problems is awesome, and much welcomed. But these folks need to become better urbanists.”
The problem—Allison Arieff argues—is that they create sterile and insular environments. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served to employees so they don’t need to leave the building. And private social spaces are created just for them.
It strikes me as being terribly ironic that these companies—a great number of which are committed to making the world more open and connected—actually suck at doing that in real life.