The Future Of Cities: The Absurdity Of Modernism

Leon Krier, the godfather of New Urbanism, offers his perspective on the future of cities.
November 5, 2001, 7am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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The most beautiful cities which survive in the world today have all been conceived with buildings of between two and five floors -- the era of the utilitarian skyscraper is at an end... There are lots of good reasons to build high symbolic structures, such as the Washington Memorial, the Capitol Building, the Eiffel Tower, St. Paul's Cathedral; there exists no sound reason, however, for building excessively high utilitarian buildings (with the exception of financial gain). Their collateral damage is such that society cannot afford such absurdities as general propositions; the problem today is not so much that they exist, but that some architectural thinkers want to make us believe that they are inevitable and necessary even in the future. These buildings make a very large impact as sex and power symbols, but considering the very real damage they do to their host cities, users, and neighbors, they may not only be considered now to be fragile and dangerous, but also obscene rather than powerful.

Thanks to Chris Steins

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Published on Sunday, November 4, 2001 in Planetizen
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