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Art, in a democracy, should be valued, not by an elite, but by the marketplace.
Gehry and Eisenman can no longer get our attention. The only remaining radical act that will scandalize critics accustomed to everything is to build a classical building.
We have legislators who think it their duty only to listen to the people instead of becoming expert on the subjects which they must decide upon.
Adlai Stevenson said When I feel the heat, I see the light. We must apply a rude and relentless heat to planners and engineers, slumbering in the dimcomfort of their profession.
The only thing that I remember about Mumford (I read The City in History in 1970) is that Medieval girls would run naked through the streets to the public baths. I can still find that reference. That was memorable.
The difference between the New Urbanism and Smart Growth is that while both desire the same outcome, the New Urbanism is conceived as private-sector and market-driven while Smart Growth is based on government policy and proscriptions. The one is about choice, profit and the pursuit of happiness as self-defined; while the other is ethical and anhedonic. The CNU attempts only to establish parity between conventional suburban development and diverse, walkable communities hereby allowing the market to decide on a level playing field.
In [the traditional New England town], one can live above the store, next to the store, five minutes from the store or nowhere near the store, and it is easy to imagine the different age groups and personalities that would prefer each alternative. In this way and others, the traditional neighborhood provides for an array of lifestyles. In conventional suburbia, there is only one available lifestyle: to own a car and to need it for everything.
Suburban Nation
Buried in berms, clad in weathered wood and weak in form, the buildings of suburban Hilton Head are promoted as ecological. But they are only apologizing (quite correctly) for their own existence. The compact neighborhood is the true architecture of nature.
The loss of a forest or a farm is justified only if it is replaced by a village. To replace them with a subdivision or a shopping center is not an even trade.
Do you only have ancestors, or are you also going to be an ancestor?
Higher density housing offers an inferior lifestyle only when it is without a community as its setting.
The subdivisions of suburbia are conceived as a shopping centers for housing and only later (if at all) as communities.
In the suburbs you have backyard decks; in towns you have porches on the street.
On the failure of planning as process: when the job seems too difficult, the tool is probably wrong.
Affordable housing was inadvertently eliminated by suburban codes.
The problems of preservation are increasingly becoming the problems of urbanism. A question like 'Should angled parking be introduced into a residential neighborhood?' is not and issue of 'historical' preservation, but of preservation.
Suburban Codes attempt to impose order, Neotraditional Codes avoid disorder.
If a number of persons are not in some way angry at the planner, then no principles have been presented; the planner has been merely a secretary to the mob, and the plan will be weak to the point of being useless.
Anchorage is the most awful place. All people know is that nature is beautiful; and they do not give a thought to the city they inhabit.
That charrette was anti-entropy.
Amateurs accustomed to emulation made great places. It is the professionals of recent decades that have ruined our cities and our landscapes with their inventions.
NIMBYs disguised as environmentalists.
In 1860, the capital city of Washington, with a population of 60,000, had unlighted streets, open sewers, and pigs roaming about its principal avenues. This condition was worse than the worst of our current cities. There is hope.
Not changing is an excellent way to change things in interesting and useful ways.
on successional urbanism
We cannot evolve unless mutations occur.
With infill, start by providing for those who are not risk-averse (singles, Bohemians, etc.). These people are the urban pioneers.
It is NOT the inaugural condition that is the determinant of a town that is decisive: it is the ability to molt that is important.
The Department of Transportation, in its single-minded pursuit of traffic flow, has destroyed more American towns than General Sherman.
We're having a terrible affordable housing problem in this country. How can we deliver affordable housing when we keep gold-plating the standards?
The forlorn hope is our tradition.
What condemns modernism is not its theory, but its practice.
Modernism is predicated on ignorance of the past.
Hidden within an offensive there should always be a defense.
As we grow more isolated from each other, personal gripes grow into blanket truths. We have lots of opinions and we shout them angrily into the wind...
The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far has problems which cannot be solved by thinking the way we thought when we created them.
Equations are more important to me, because politics is for the present, but an equation is something for eternity.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.
It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
It is a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science
Make everything as simple as possible... but no simpler!
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.
The past is never dead. It's not even past.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) typically keeps the public at bay by having only two phases for their projects: Too early to tell and too late to stop.
The problem is not the automobile. There are plenty of cars and traffic jams in European cities, but urban planning and design there does not simply revolve around making space for the car. In American downtowns, however, that has too often been the case. For years, downtowns have been decimated as buildings have been cleared and streets widened in an effort to get more cars into the city. Since most cars are driven only a few hours per week, storage is a big problem. Parking lots often take up more space than any other land use.
I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down the one particular path than we have yet gone ourselves.