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Urban Planning Quotes

Quotes tagged as "urban-planning" Showing 1-30 of 60
Rebecca Solnit
“Cities have always offered anonymity, variety, and conjunction, qualities best basked in by walking: one does not have to go into the bakery or the fortune-teller's, only to know that one might. A city always contains more than any inhabitant can know, and a great city always makes the unknown and the possible spurs to the imagination.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Rebecca Solnit
“Italian cities have long been held up as ideals, not least by New Yorkers and Londoners enthralled by the ways their architecture gives beauty and meaning to everyday acts.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Jeffrey Eugenides
“Planning is for the world's great cities, for Paris, London, and Rome, for cities dedicated, at some level, to culture. Detroit, on the other hand, was an American city and therefore dedicated to money, and so design had given way to expediency.”
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex

Jane Jacobs
“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.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs
“Traffic congestion is caused by vehicles, not by people in themselves.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs
“Neighborhoods built up all at once change little physically over the years as a rule...[Residents] regret that the neighborhood has changed. Yet the fact is, physically it has changed remarkably little. People's feelings about it, rather, have changed. The neighborhood shows a strange inability to update itself, enliven itself, repair itself, or to be sought after, out of choice, by a new generation. It is dead. Actually it was dead from birth, but nobody noticed this much until the corpse began to smell.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs
“...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.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Rebecca Solnit
“In great cities, spaces as well as places are designed and built: walking, witnessing, being in public, are as much part of the design and purpose as is being inside to eat, sleep, make shoes or love or music. The word citizen has to do with cities, and the ideal city is organized around citizenship -- around participation in public life.”
Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

William Gibson
“Canadian cities looked the way American cities did on television.”
William Gibson, Spook Country

Jane Jacobs
“Detroit is largely composed, today, of seemingly endless square miles of low-density failure.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Jane Jacobs
“There are fashions in building. Behind the fashions lie economic and technological reasons, and these fashions exclude all but a few genuinely different possibilities in city dwelling construction at any one time.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Caroline Criado Pérez
“The reporting rate is even lower in New York City, with an estimated 96% of sexual harassment and 86% of sexual assaults in the subway system going unreported, while in London, where a fifth of women have reportedly been physically assaulted while using public transport, a 2017 study found that 'around 90% of people who experience unwanted sexual behavior would not report it... Enough women have experienced the sharp shift from 'Smile, love, it might never happen,' to 'Fuck you bitch why are you ignoring me?'... But all too often the blame is out on the women themselves for feeling fearful, rather than on planners for designing urban spaces and transit environments that make them feel unsafe... Women are often scared in public spaces. In fact, they are around twice as likely to be scared as men. And, rather unusually, we have the data to prove it.”
Caroline Criado-Pérez, Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Jane Jacobs
“A border--the perimeter of a single massive or stretched-out use of territory--forms the edge of an area of 'ordinary' city. Often borders are thought of as passive objects, or matter-of-factly just as edges. However, a border exerts an active influence.”
Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

“Henceforth the crisis of urbanism is all the more concretely a social and political one, even though today no force born of traditional politics is any longer capable of dealing with it. Medico-sociological banalities on the 'pathology of housing projects,' the emotional isolation of people who must live in them, or the development of certain extreme reactions of rejection, chiefly among youth, simply betray the fact that modern capitalism, the bureaucratic society of consumption, is here and there beginning to shape its own setting. This society, with its new towns, is building the terrain that accurately represents it, combining the conditions most suitable for its proper functioning, while at the same time translating in space, in the clear language of organization of everyday life, its fundamental principle of alienation and constraint. It is likewise here that the new aspects of its crisis will be manifested with the greatest clarity.”
Tom McDonough, The Situationists and the City: A Reader

“Sustainability is now a big baggy sack in which people throw all kinds of old ideas, hot air and dodgy activities in order to be able to greenwash their products and feel good.”
Kevin McCloud, Kevin McCloud's 43 Principles of Home: Enjoying Life in the 21st Century.

Archimedes Muzenda
“The contempt of motorists for pedestrians is so ironic, because no matter how many cars they have, they are also pedestrians, biologically. Unless they fly to the doors of their cars.”
Archimedes Muzenda, Dystopia: How The Tyranny of Specialists Fragment African Cities

Archimedes Muzenda
“A city without some form of a transect is like a country without a constitution; It is a breeding ground for spatial anarchy.”
Archimedes Muzenda, Dystopia: How The Tyranny of Specialists Fragment African Cities

“[...] most American cities have been designed or redesigned principally around the assumption of universal automotive use, resulting in obligatory car ownership, typically one per adult—starting at age sixteen. In these cities, and in most of our nation, the car is no longer an instrument of freedom, but rather a bulky, expensive, and dangerous prosthetic device, a prerequisite to viable citizenship.”
Jeff Speck, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time

Elliot Connor
“Cities are humans' shoddy attempts at making ecosystems.”
Elliot Connor, Human Nature: How to be a Better Animal

Naomi Klein
“The better news is that as we transform how we generate energy, how we move ourselves around, how we grow our food and how we live in cities, we have a historic opportunity to build a society that is fairer on every front, and where everyone is valued. Here's how we do it. We make sure that, wherever possible, our renewable energy comes from community-controlled providers and cooperatives, so that decisions about land use are made democratically and profits from energy production are used to pay for much-needed services.”
Naomi Klein, On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal

“In articulating their theory of growth machines, Logan and Molotch contrast the exchange value of land (its economic worth) with its use value (value as living space) to illustrate the conflicting interests of developer-led growth coalitions focused on exchange value and the interests of city residents on use value. In North America, according to the two authors, exchange regularly trumps use. This fact underlies the development of a growth machine. Growth machines develop in the following manner: place entrepreneurs see the potential for profit from the development and intensification of their property holdings, namely, through the increase in rent. These "rentiers" develop a close relationship with other local business interests. In particular, businesses that rely on the growth of a city to increase their profitability, such as newspapers, are likely to support the interests of developers. Developers and their allies, through constant interaction with government, through ample campaign contributions, and through their ability to organize and mobilize, can co-opt local politicians, effectively coercing their involvement in the growth coalition. They supply politicians with the funds necessary to run effective election campaigns. Politicians, in turn, along with local media and other members of the growth coalition, help to perpetuate a link between civic pride and a city's economic and physical growth. This link undermines interest in the use value of land (specifically the use and maintenance of existing areas) as the city focuses increasingly on growth. Molotch argues in a later article that this coalition of growth interests reflected the most common political coalition in American cities, while acknowledging its limited applicability elsewhere. He argues that Americans' acceptance of developers' actions " as the baseline of urban process, rather than as disruptions," is evidence that Americans take developers' "presence for granted"....Numerous authors, in adopting growth machine theory, also added anti-growth citizen coalitions to the mix. Current analyses adopting the theory now invariably include the neighborhood-association-led anti-growth coalition as the foil of the developer-led growth coalition.”
Aaron Alexander Moore, Planning Politics in Toronto: The Ontario Municipal Board and Urban Development

“Cities are not only a place where we live but also a place where humanity evolves.”
Planners Realm

Steven Pinker
“The urban planner Donald Sean has argued that an ‘urban blight’ metaphor led planners to treat crowded neighbourhoods as if they were diseased plants, which had to be extirpated to prevent the spread of rot. The result was the disastrous urban renewal projects the 1960s.”
Steven Pinker, The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature

Alain de Botton
“When we aren’t aiming to be either precise or conclusive, it can be easy to agree on what a beautiful man-made place might look like. Attempts to name the world’s most attractive cities tend to settle on some familiar locations: Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, San Francisco. A case will occasionally be made for Siena or Sydney. Someone may bring up St Petersburg or Salamanca. Further evidence of our congruent tastes can be found in the patterns of our holiday migrations. Few people opt to spend the summer in Milton Keynes or Frankfurt. Nevertheless, our intuitions about attractive architecture have always proved of negligible use in generating satisfactory laws of beauty. We might expect that it would, by now, have grown as easy to reproduce a city with the appeal of Bath as it is to manufacture consistent quantities of blueberry jam. If humans were at some point adept at creating a masterwork of urban design, it should have come within the grasp of all succeeding generations to contrive an equally successful environment at will. There ought to be no need to pay homage to a city as to a rare creature; its virtues should be readily fitted to the development of any new piece of meadow or scrubland. There should be no need to focus our energies on preservation and restoration, disciplines which thrive on our fears of our own ineptitude. We should not have to feel alarmed by the waters that lap threateningly against Venice’s shoreline. We should have the confidence to surrender the aristocratic palaces to the sea, knowing that we could at any point create new edifices that would rival the old stones in beauty.”
Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness

“A round of applause for circles.”
Roman Mars, The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design

Richard Florida
“There are three key attributes that make people happy in their communities and cause them to develop a solid emotional attachment to the place they live in. The first is the physical beauty and the level of maintenance of the place itself - great open spaces and parks, historic buildings, and an attention to community aesthetics. The second is the ease with which people can meet others, make friends, and plug into social networks. The third piece of the happiness puzzle is the level of diversity, open-mindedness, and acceptance: Is there some equality of opportunity for all? Can anyone - everyone - contribute to and take pleasure from the community?”
Richard Florida, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

Richard Florida
“Infrastructure is always hugely expensive, and there's no clear way to measure the overall future return on investment, whether it's in the form of innovation, development, or new communities or jobs. Infrastructure provides a skeleton on which to grow a new economic model. The infrastructure investments we make now will determine the kind of economy we have in the future.”
Richard Florida, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity

“Placing people and their daily activities close together doesn't just make the people more interesting; it also makes them greener.”
David Owen, Green Metropolis: What the City Can Teach the Country About True Sustainability

“Because the cost of energy is blended into the cost of everything, changes in the cost of energy have the power to transform lives.”
David Owen, Green Metropolis: What the City Can Teach the Country About True Sustainability

Andy Singer
“Q: Is there a book from your reading that has been particularly inspirational to you?

The Power Broker by Robert Caro is the most inspirational book I've ever read on the subject of transportation and urban planning …but I lived in New York City and knew many of the places and people he was talking about. I'm not sure if it would be as inspirational to others. The book won a Pulitzer Prize when it came out in the 1970s. Caro was a newspaper reporter who wanted to write a book about political power– how it was obtained and wielded and what role agencies played in government. In describing the life of Robert Moses, a highway builder, unelected state bureaucrat and creator of the modern “highway department,” Caro was able to describe (in a microcosm) the transportation and political history of America.
Another great book is Ivan Illich's “Energy and Equity.” That one is a quick read.

(2015 interview with Microcosm Publishing)”
Andy Singer

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