I've been traveling for 30 years. Yet nothing scarred me more than my recent role as a tourist in New York City. You might think, as I naively thought, that locals would be savvy enough to avoid tourist traps, but you'd be wrong.
If our cities must be dense to be competitive and sustainable, we must also look with care to the potential displacement of uses, institutions or traditions -- not to mention the artifacts we will leave behind.
What if American cities legislated brighter color amid windows, balconies planted green and encouraged flags and hanging laundry? What if homeowner associations and rental contracts required vegetation and decoration?