Defending Modernism and Ignoring Preservation

A new book called The Lure of the City argues that planners today have "a lack of ambition" and argues against the "[Jane] Jacobs-influenced orthodoxy."

Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times reviews the book, written by Austin Williams and Alastair Donald:

"Most essays take a line contrary to the prevailing, Jacobs-influenced orthodoxy, arguing for cars, roads, big plans and a tough line with history."

The two are pro-city, saying that cities are good for education and for a better way of life than subsistence farming. But they have no truck with history, arguing in favor of clearing away anything in the way of progress. Heathcote doesn't agree completely:

"For all the temptation to start afresh, the most popular cities remain those that manage to maintain a blend of grains and textures, historic and modern, in which the existing limits the possible and forces imagination and reuse."

Full Story: The Lure of the City

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