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KunstlerCast #157: When McDonald’s Comes to Town

A Community Design Debate

Released: May 19, 2011.

JHK and Duncan look at two new McDonald’s projects in their home towns and touch upon some universal issues with regards to these types of developments appearing throughout North America. Using the comments on a local newspaper blog, they gague how members of the community are reacting and forming a public consensus. While some people in Troy are advocating for a heightened design, others are “violently complacent” about the standard issue Mickey D’s as delivered to automobile strips around the world. Meanwhile, in Saratoga Springs, a developer did create a different take on the Golden Arches. But was the end product better?

Note: This expisode contains explicit language.

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Proposed McDonald’s in Troy NY:

Saratoga Springs McDonald’s:
Freeport Maine McDonald’s:

The Articles & Blog Posts:

Is the proposed McDonald’s good for Troy?
Chris Churchill Times Union Places & Spaces Blog
April 25, 2011

A look at Troy’s proposed McDonald’s
Chris Churchill Times Union Places & Spaces Blog
April 26, 2011

Protesting a chain’s similarity by design
Chris Churchill Times Union Sunday edition
May 16, 2011

An unusual take on the Troy McDonald’s plan
Chris Churchill Times Union Places & Spaces Blog
May 17, 2011

Troy officials: Design talk is ‘ridiculously premature’
Chris Churchill Times Union Places & Spaces Blog
May 18, 2011

Troy officials: Design talk is ‘ridiculously premature’
Cecelia Martinez The Record (Troy)
May 18, 2011

James V. Franco: Bring the Golden Arches to Hoosick Street
The Troy Record
May 19, 2011


This week’s sponsor is The Congress for the New Urbanism, the nation’s leading advocacy organization dedicated to promoting walkable, mixed-use neighborhood development, sustainable communities and healthier living conditions.

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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

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