The Urban Choices: The City and Its Critics

The Urban Choices: The City and Its Critics

The Urban Choices: The City and Its Critics

The Urban Choices: The City and Its Critics

Excerpt

What, another book about The City?

Suddenly it seems that anyone who has traveled by subway from Bowling Green to Times Square, or taken a taxi from the Edgewater Beach Hotel to the Loop, must hasten to the typewriter and set down his experiences, preferably between hard covers.

Living in a city is no longer regarded as a temporary necessity, perverting man's essentially rural nature; it is now generally accepted that our ancestors slid from the trees to stay, and that we had better reconcile ourselves to the pavements, or find a way to reconcile the pavements to us.

This view is based on no new evidence. Men are now bothering to examine old facts. European men have for so many centuries been deserting their rustic homes that in retrospect they seem to have been born with a drive for urbanity far more important than their alleged attachment to the soil. Every school- boy knows that history has been on the side of cities. In the eighteenth century cottage workers deserted their villages to cluster around the steam engine; electrification speeded the concentration. Now that it is stylish to study urbanization, men are noting that the internal combustion engine has made further growth of the cities inevitable. The gasoline motor makes the city's transportation truly flexible; the large diesel engine will, in the end, make it nearly unnecessary for anyone to live on the farm.

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