Andrés Duany 63 quotes

Quote Context Category
We're having a terrible affordable housing problem in this country. How can we deliver affordable housing when we keep gold-plating the standards? Affordable Housing
The Department of Transportation, in its single-minded pursuit of traffic flow, has destroyed more American towns than General Sherman. Cars
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. Change
With infill, start by providing for those who are not risk-averse (singles, Bohemians, etc.). These people are the urban pioneers. Change
We cannot evolve unless mutations occur. Change
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. City
Suburban Codes attempt to impose order, Neotraditional Codes avoid disorder. Codes
Affordable housing was inadvertently eliminated by suburban codes. Codes
The subdivisions of suburbia are conceived as a shopping centers for housing and only later (if at all) as communities. Community
In the suburbs you have backyard decks; in towns you have porches on the street. Community
Higher density housing offers an inferior lifestyle only when it is without a community as its setting. Community
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. Environment
Do you only have ancestors, or are you also going to be an ancestor? Environment
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. Environment
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. History
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. Law
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. Leadership
It is the absurd premise of real estate marketing to offer buildings of uniqueness, exclusivity and luxury to everyman. Marketing
Art, in a democracy, should be valued, not by an elite, but by the marketplace. Marketing
Modern architects recognize 300 masterpieces but ignore the other 30 million buildings that have ruined the world. Modernism
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. Modernism
As a cultural institution, Disney is more influential than Harvard. Modernism
Deconstructivism is the Urban Style. It attempts to compress the complexity, which is the purview of an entire street, into the ornament of a single building, there to call it the architecture of the real world. Disneyworld is more authentic. Modernism
The Modernists are nostalgic... for a future that will never happen. Modernism
The architectural avant-garde extols cinematic illusion but denigrate its masterpiece: Williamsburg. Modernism
There is nothing more pathetic to behold than a Modernist architect trying to turn a mere house into a bid at immortality. Modernism
Current architectural education is the pursuit of the carefully arbitrary. Modernism
Modern architecture, as defined by the pioneers, is to serve mass culture and to be shaped by mass production. Deconstructivism does not share these aims. It is, in fact, produced by exquisite craft technique and appreciated only by a cultural elite -- it is a revival fit for Rusk. Their claims of social radicalism is comically at odds with the expensive houses and chic ristoranti of its production. Only the neurosis of its practitioners confirms its modernist currency. Modernism
Because he knows nothing of the codes and practices that actually shape the modern city, Koolhaas does not understand that what he perceives as a stimulating freedom is actually a deterministic set of interlocking practices controlled by specialists in marketing and engineering, by municipal codes and banking practice. This system has been evolved and perfected for half a century by a developer-controlled think-tank called, the Urban Land Institute. The entire system is as precise as any that has ever guided the hand of the architecture. The proof is immediate: the difficulty of implementing even the slightest deviation, either aesthetic or typological. Modernism
The New Urbanism Consists of the Charter and the Charrette. The one is principle based and the other is process-based. The one is rational, the other empirical. The one is general and the other local. The one is ideal, the other political. Principles untested by public participation are coercive and have no authority. A process without a basis in principles lacks structure and credible outcome. New Urbanism
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. New Urbanism
We must replace those memes, the high-art aesthetic ones, with ETHICAL ones. Everything we do has to be on an ethical basis. New Urbanism
You cannot be a New Urbanist unless you are also angry. New Urbanism
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. Planning
Planning issues must be decided by legislators who feel the responsibility to become experts on the subject which they must decide upon. Planning
The problem with planning is that it has been overtaken by mathematical models... traffic, density, impact assessment, public costs etc. discarding common sense and empirical observation. Planning
On the failure of planning as process: when the job seems too difficult, the tool is probably wrong. Planning
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. Preservation
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. Public Process
Principles untested by public participation are coercive and have no authority. A process without a basis in principles lacks structure and a credible outcome. Public Process
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. Specialist
NIMBYs disguised as environmentalists. Sustainability
Thank God for global warming; it came just in time to save Europe. Sustainability
America's public spaces are sized by the biggest fire engine the community can afford to buy. Thoroughfares
The street, which is the public realm of America, is now a barrier to community life. Thoroughfares
The role of the street is social as well as utilitarian. Thoroughfares
There are components of modern life that are necessary but which intrinsically create bad street frontage: They are the parking lot, the drive-through, and the solid walls of certain businesses and institutions that can't have windows. So there is a certain percentage of modern street frontage that will not deliver pedestrian quality. The only questions are: what percentage of your city must you give over to these uses and where do you locate them. What you need is a system of zoning based not on use, but on the quality of street frontage. Then develop your street grid with a rhythm of A streets and B streets. Designate those streets like your Walnut Street as A streets, where every building on these blocks must be high-grade, pedestrian-oriented and reinforce continuity... no parking lots, no curb cuts. Then assign all your anti-pedestrian frontages to your B streets, your service streets. There is absolutely nothing worse for a city than to make every street excellent. If you try to make every street excellent, every street will be mediocre. Thoroughfares
A historicist is a person who generally believes that old things are always better than new things. A modernist is a person who generally believes that new things are always better than old things. A neo-traditionalist is a person who generally chooses whatever works best in the long run. Tradition
Vinyl awaits its Eiffel. Tradition
The transect is one of the great taxonomic engines. Transect