No neighbourhood or district, no matter how well established, prestigious or well heeled and no matter how intensely populated for one purpose, can flout the necessity for spreading people through time of day without frustrating its potential for generating diversity.
We expect too much of new buildings, and too little of ourselves.
You can neither lie to a neighbourhood park, nor reason with it. 'Artist's conceptions' and persuasive renderings can put pictures of life into proposed neighbourhood parks or park malls, and verbal rationalizations can conjure up users who ought to appreciate them, but in real life only diverse surroundings have the practical power of inducing a natural, continuing flow of life and use.
To approach a city, or even a city neighborhood, as if it were a larger architectural problem, capable of being given order by converting it into a disciplined work of art, is to make the mistake of attempting to substitute art for life. The results of such profound confusion between art and life are neither life nor art. They are taxidermy.
All through organized history, if you wanted prosperity you had to have cities. Cities are places that attract new people with new ideas.
There are dangers in sentimentalizing nature. Most sentimental ideas imply, at bottom, a deep if unacknowledged disrespect. It is no accident that we Americans, probably the world's champion sentimentalizers about nature, are at one and the same time probably the world's most voracious and disrespectful destroyers of wild and rural countryside.
Lowly, unpurposeful, and random as they appear, sidewalk contacts are the small change from which a city's wealth of public life must grow.
The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.
Dull, inert cities, it is true, do contain the seeds of their own destruction and little else. But lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration, with energy enough to carry over for problems and needs outside themselves.
This is what a city is, bits and pieces that supplement each other and support each other.
The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity.
People must take a modicum of public responsibility for each other even if they have no ties to each other.
This is something everyone knows: A well-used city street is apt to be a safe street. A deserted city street is apt to be unsafe.
The ballet of the good city sidewalk never repeats itself from place to place, and in any one place is always replete with new improvisations.
The first fundamental of successful city life: People must take a modicum of responsibility for each other even if they have no ties to each other. This is a lesson no one learns by being told. It is learned from the experience of having other people without ties of kinship or close friendship or formal responsibility to you take a modicum of responsibility for you.
Whenever and wherever societies have flourished and prospered rather than stagnated and decayed, creative and workable cities have been at the core of the phenomenon. Decaying cities, declining economies, and mounting social troubles travel together. The combination is not coincidental.
There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.
While you are looking, you might as well also listen, linger and think about what you see.
Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.... for really new ideas of any kind-no matter how ultimately profitable or otherwise successful some of them might prove to be-there is no leeway for such chancy trial, error and experimentation in the high-overhead economy of new construction. Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.
Intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos. On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order.
Designing a dream city is easy; rebuilding a living one takes imagination.
Streets and their sidewalks-the main public places of a city-are its most vital organs.
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.
There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.
Virtually all ideologues, of any variety, are fearful and insecure, which is why they are drawn to ideologies that promise prefabricated answers for all circumstances.
[Cities] are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of these is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.
...frequent streets and short blocks are valuable because of the fabric of intricate cross-use that they permit among the users of a city neighbouhood.
As in the pseudoscience of bloodletting, just so in the pseudoscience of city rebuilding and planning, years of learning and a plethora of subtle and complicated dogma have arisen on a foundation of nonsense.
The trouble with paternalists is that they want to make impossibly profound changes, and they choose impossibly superficial means for doing so.
You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.
What if we fail to stop the erosion of cities by automobiles? ... In that case America will hardly need to ponder a mystery that has troubled men for millennia. What is the purpose of life? For us, the answer will be clear, established and for all practical purposes indisputable. The purpose of life is to produce and consume automobiles.
Subsidiarity is the principle that government works best most responsibly and responsively when it is closest to the people it serves and the needs it addresses. Fiscal accountability is the principle that institutions collecting and disbursing taxes work most responsibly when they are transparent to those providing the money.
Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.
Does anyone suppose that, in real life, answers to any of the great questions that worry us today are going to come out of homogeneous settlements?
The primary conflict, I think, is between people whose interests are with already well-established economic activities, and those whose interests are with the emergence of new economic activities.
Cities are an immense laboratory of trial and error, failure and success, in city building and city design.
Writing, printing, and the Internet give a false sense of security about the permanence of culture.
Unity, like so many good things, is good only in moderation.
observation of realities has never, to put it mildly, been one of the strengths of economic development theory.
Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities.