All Quotes

Quote
Context
You either have rules or you have anarchy; and the enforcement of rules requires a hierarchy.
Anyplace worth its salt has a 'parking problem'.
If the city is not well designed, its impact on the surrounding nature will be lethal.
Planning of the automobile city focuses on saving time. Planning for the accessible city, on the other hand, focuses on time well spent.
The food would have to be pretty horrible for this not to be a perfect lunch.
sitting down in a Roman piazza
Bicyclists should expect and demand safe accommodation on every public road, just as do all other users. Nothing more is expected. Nothing less is acceptable.
It's time for a reconsideration -- something like what architects call a post-occupancy evaluation, which looks at how a building is working for people in everyday use. This one, however, won't rag on the library's already well-documented functional shortcomings, such as the unwieldy and baffling vertical traffic flow. Instead, we'll venture into a region few architects know how to talk about: how a building feels. This one feels, in varying places, raw, confusing, impersonal, uncomfortable, oppressive, theatrical and exhilarating. Ponder any spot in this vast building, and two, three or more of those adjectives inevitably swirl together. That's the first indicator of trouble. If this building were fulfilling the showers of acclaim heaped onto it, all we'd be talking about is joy. This library, incredibly, is an uncomfortable place to read....
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on the Koolhaas library
How big can we get before we get bad?
Convivial towns can offer solace in disaster, solidarity in protest, and a quiet everyday delight in urban life...Creating and revitalizing places that foster conviviality is essential to the good life.
I'll tell you what I want for Christmas. I want the Planning Commission and the mayor and the county Legislature and the county executive and all our decision makers to get on a plane and go to Charleston, S.C. I want them to walk around and see why that city works, and what can be done with wonderful planning, and how developers... if you do it right... won't run away.
People say that they do not want to live near where they work; but that they would like to work near where they live.
When we build our landscape around places to go, we lose places to be.
Vancouver killed the freeway because they didn't want the freeways to kill their neighborhoods. The city flourished because making it easier to drive does not reduce traffic; it increases it. That means if you don't waste billions of dollars building freeways, you actually end up with less traffic.
Increasingly, we live in a world where cities compete for people, and businesses follow. This trend has largely been ignored by many cities, which are still focused on business climate and tax incentives. But I think the big question businesses will ask in the years to come is going to be 'Can I hire talented people in this city?' Cities need to be able to answer 'yes' to succeed.
The city of Cartagena is as comfortable as an old shoe.
We have a military policy instead of an energy policy.
Charrettes are what you do until sanity prevails again.
Density and environmental protection are not incompatible. If they are, we are in very deep trouble.
We have too much legislation by clamor, by tumult, and by pressure.
Elected officials. community leaders and intellectuals must cese encouraging the untenable belief that there is an inherent American right not to be offended.
Just as there is no loss of basic energy in the universe, so no thought or action is without its effects, present or ultimate, seen or unseen, felt or unfelt.
If something comes to life in others because of you, then you have made an approach to immortality.
From the classic point of view, the study of design is the most salutary discipline possible in this too naturalistic age. If I could have my way in the training of young artists, I should insist upon their spending a good deal of time in the study and designing of pure ornament [so] that they might learn how independent fine design is of its content and how slight may be the connection between art and nature.
The Classic Point of View
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than knowledge.
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Progress in every age results only from the fact that there are some men and women who refuse to believe that what they know to be right cannot be done.
Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple, or more direct than does Nature.
I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have
We complain that the streets of the urban peripheries are boring, that they do not offer the same opportunities for encounter, exchange, curiosity, attention, offered by the streets of the historic centers. It is not surprising, as the streets of the historic centers were made for the motion of human beings whereas the streets of the periphery have been made for the motion of automobiles.
The Contemporary Town
We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
Fortunately, the past never completely dies for man. Man may forget it, but he always preserves it within him. For, take him at any epoch, and he is the product, the epitome, of all the earlier epochs. Let him look into his own soul, and he can find and distinguish these different epochs by what each has left within him.
The Ancient City
If you are driving an hour and a half each way for thirty years, the consequences don’t catch up with you at 32, they catch up in your early 50’s.
There is a specific kind of American dimness: the cult of expertise, which, by its very nature, blinds the person who practices it to every form of knowledge save the one that he understands.
What Windsor shows us is that the rich can be convinced to live in urbanism.
New Urbanism = Universal Principles calibrated locally.
Nothing looks so dated as yesterday's vision of the future.
Government is to the state what language is to thought; it not only communicates the purpose of the state; but in so doing gives them for the first time articulation and generality.
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
The soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
The greatest of all evils is a weak government.
The wisdom of the wise, and the experience of ages, may be preserved by quotation.
A revolution can sweep clean, but a reformation can point forward and backward at the same time.
...if someone charges that the New Urbanism is about hating cars, we can say no, that it is only when convenient walking and convenient driving conflict that we place the pedestrian above the driver; where they do not conflict, there is no dilemma.
Organic simplicity depends upon feedback loops (both balancing and reinforcing). Mechanical simplicity tries to stop those loops from happening, and eventually fails. That's why politics is so important. Think of evolution as a feedback process, and then think of politics as an instance of frustrated evolution.
People yearning for community are like people at a party who crowd into the kitchen because they like it.
Tradition is reverse engineering, isn't it?
The law of unintended consequences teaches us that regulations ought to be minimal, restricted to things that are really important (and therefore rarely negotiable). Imagine if Moses' tablets for the Ten Commandments came with instructions that said, 'Conformance with seven out of ten will be considered compliance overall.' Too few would choose to follow commandment #7, I bet, if they could get by with fewer than all ten and got to decide to which they'll adhere. Put another way: which amendment in the Bill of Rights should presidents be allowed to deem optional, if their overall score is mostly OK?
The smallest molecule of mixed use is the Coke machine. I observed that when one that had been installed for construction workers in an alley at Port Royal was preserved at the petition of the residents.
Parking is a narcotic and ought to be a controlled substance. It is addictive, and one can never have enough.
[Democracies] have great difficulty solving the long-run problems created by policies that provide short-term benefits. Once people receive the benefits, they do not want to give them up.