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Posted: 2017-03-20 14:50:54

Celebration, Florida is an example of what is called New Urbanism, modeled after older towns with compact downtowns, walkable streets designed for slower traffic, trees for shade. Some find it creepy; others admire it as a great model for urban design. But the things that people love about it, that make it work, may well change because Celebration is part of a larger community that has big eight foot wide fire trucks.

There is often a conflict between the engineers and the emergency response people who want to move cars and fire trucks really fast, and the urban designers who want to slow cars and trucks down. There are almost always objections when bike lanes and speed bumps are proposed, that they might slow down reaction times by police and fire departments. Everyone has their own point of view; As Mark Twain noted, to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

But when cities and towns already exist, police and fire departments usually assume that they have to deal with the hand they have been dealt and adapt to circumstance. They do not usually come in and demand retroactive changes. In Celebration, they are doing exactly that, demanding twenty feet clear so they can tear down the streets with their ladder trucks. To get this they have to eliminate on street parking and move trees, which are all actually there to slow traffic down and make it safe for pedestrians.

The Deputy Fire chief is essentially saying what the General said in the Vietnam war about the destruction of the town of Ben Tre:

“In order to save the village, we had to destroy it”

It is an issue we have covered before, how we let the heroes in uniforms decide how our cities should be designed around their big trucks. I wrote "So what we get is urban design by road engineers and firemen instead of planners and architects. No wonder our cities look like they do." Celebration was different, and the firemen don't like it. So what if it all was approved and built according to plans, if the Chief of

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