Saturday, August 7, 2010
Quick Reflection--The Postwar Experience in Orange TV's New History of International Drive
This is new documentary about the history of International Drive made by Orange TV. I, like a lot of academics who study urban development, have mixed feelings about the impact of the type of development represented by International Drive. That issue is different from the question of the history of people and organizations that strove to make a community work in a period that growth was not guaranteed. The experience building international drive speaks to the post-war consumer mindset in the United States. The men (and there is an omission of women and minorities in this narrative) who promoted International Drive sold the possibility of the future where people could consume the environment. Cheap and plentiful land, infrastructure to support tourist travel by car and tax structure built on those visitors remains the key to understanding the development questions in Florida today. As we struggle with the implication of future where resources will not be as freely available, the enterprising perspective on display in this documentary will be needed again. The difference is that opportunity must be found in creating new industry not as depended on tourism, better resource management, and greater recognition of the region's diversity will be necessary if International Drive will support another next fifty years of economic activity.