Dear US Mayor,
You never write. You never call. You never send flowers.
You know that the major building project for most mayors in the US is the removal of building and you know it is not just about shrinking cities and demolition. You preside over the aftermath of one of the most massive banking failures in US/global history—a failure so spectacular that it turns buildings and landscapes back into buildings and landscapes rather than trafficked mortgage products.
You are making new urban software and new organs of urban triage (like land banks) that change everything. Every city needs its own customized financial/spatial software—its own playbook of interdependencies for slowly ratcheting into another urban fabric. The quants created a global epidemic; the mayors are creating the new, more durable templates of development—open source interplays that might address any number of violent urban ecologies.
You know that architects know how to make the building machine lurch forward, but we also know how to put it into reverse. Architects know how to make distended overdevelopment shrink. We know how to delete destructive development in sensitive landscapes. We know how to retreat from flood plains and preserves.
Architects know how to subtract.
Waiting by the phone,