For sprawling cities

In: Uncategorized

3 Feb 2010

James Heartfield has an article on the newgeography website celebrating what he calls dispersed settlements and others deride as urban sprawl. He concludes that:

“Far from being necessarily de-humanising, dispersed settlements are an opportunity for an enlargement of the human spirit. To imagine that there is anything in physical proximity that is essential to community is to confuse animal warmth with civilisation, and an unfortunately deterministic view of architecture’s relationship to society. But worst of all it misses out the great alternatives that are waiting to be made in new communities across the country.”

This is a welcome contrast to the romanticised vision of slums contained in a recent article (truncated) on “how slums can save the planet” by Stewart Brand in Prospect. Brand’s argument was in turn similar to Kevin McCloud’s recent documentary on Mumbai which I suggested might be the dumbest programme ever (see 15 January 2010 post).