Timothy Lee applies the pitfalls of urban planning more generally:

The problem with trying to make society conform with reason is that society is a lot more complicated than most planners realize. So what looks on paper like a perfectly rational social order8-lane freeways, US-imposed democracy in Iraq, the dictatorship of the proletariatturns out to have fatal flaws when put into practice. This is why wise policymakers recognize that their knowledge is limited, and take a pragmatic, incremental approach that improves peoples’ lives without turning them upside down.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.