It's also too much of a consumption centered vision. Old Pittsburgh wanted to produce goods for the rest of the world and did so, well and on a large scale. That was a good enough destiny for any city. After that, crepes and aperitifs is a major comedown. You're not going to get back the identity and sense of purpose that steelmaking gave the city by inviting in artists and hipsters who'd just as soon be somewhere else.
You're right that the vision of the "new Paris" is the bait people are offered to swallow the "carless future" idea. But I wouldn't be too down on that idea. Who can say what conditions will be like 50 or 100 years from now?
Children who grew up a century ago in the real mansions of Fifth Avenue and Newport got really sick of those environments and came to prefer apartment living. Who's to say that the kids in today's minimansions may not follow a similar path?
Already a lot of retirees are moving back to cities, glad to be rid of the hassles of suburban existence. Of course the freedom and mobility cars bring shouldn't be surrendered, but if people choose otherwise for themselves without diminishing your options, is it really a bad thing?
“Of course the freedom and mobility cars bring shouldn’t be surrendered, but if people choose otherwise for themselves without diminishing your options, is it really a bad thing?”
It is a bad thing when it’s “encouraged” by the political elite & us serfs are nudged toward carlessness & public housing. That, to me, is the insinuation here.
Perhaps you ought to read “Agenda 21”. Although it’s a work of fiction (written by a woman from Pittsburgh, ironically) it gives you a good glimpse into where this type of thinking is leading.