City of Dreams By John Médaille - May 2, 2011 4 Reading Time: < 1 Facebook Twitter Email Print Imagine designing a city for people rather than cars: Curitiba, Brazil RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Short Fly-Fishing, Patient Ambition, and Healing the Wounds The Nightstand Fidelity to the Truth in an Illiberal Time, on Rod Dreher’s Live Not by Lies The Barbershop A Bigger Pond Philosophers & Saints Awakening to Virtue: Confessions of a Well-Read, Unlucky Good Girl The Nightstand From the Village Square to the Global Village—and Back? The Stump The Death of a Justice and the Hope of Magnanimous Statesmanship 4 COMMENTS Have you or anyone else at FPR read A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander? After glancing through it (my husband is reading it now), I wondered why I haven’t heard more about Alexander, even in passing, from my agrarian/small is beautiful sources (online and print). He suggests parking lots should be no more than 9% of a town. We live in one of those Midwest, formerly industrial cities that converted miles and miles of farmland into big box stores and even bigger parking lots. A few years ago there was flooding in an older (poorer) neighborhoods, 5 miles from the new developments. Blocks and blocks were condemned as uninhabitable. Apparently, in the rush to bring “business” to this city, and money to the pockets of our local developer (“Paving the Planet” used to be this developer’s slogan), they forgot to responsibly redirect the water flow. Very impressive city planning. Christopher Alexander has been largely ignored because he deals in the manifold details of craftsmanship , proportion and scale instead of the idolatry of modern “it” architecture. He demands hard slogging and this generation likes fireworks. http://www.citiesforpeople.net/cities/bogota.html The Bogota project was inspired by what happened in Curitiba. The episode about Bogota itself: http://www.hulu.com/watch/67737/design-e2-bogot%C3%A1-building-a-sustainable-city#s-p1-so-i0 The most inspiring part of the whole project is the concern for genuine human flourishing. They understand that people need organic community, space, and beauty in their lives. They also understand that government is capable of–and obligated to–increase the quality of life for everyone, especially the poor, but in a manner that is consistent with human dignity. Comments are closed.