Regulating Place: Standards and the Shaping of Urban America

By Eran Ben-Joseph; Terry S. Szold | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12

From Pollution Control to Place Making

The Role of Environmental Regulation in Creating Communities of Place

WILLIAM SHUTKIN

… legal rules and principles are working hypotheses, needing to be constantly tested by the way in which they work out in application to concrete situations…

John Dewey1

We must learn to know, love, and join our place even more than we love our own ideas. People who can agree that they share a commitment to the landscape-even if they are otherwise locked in struggle with each other-have at least one deep thing to share.

Gary Snyder2


Pollution and Place

At the outset, let's get one thing straight: Environmental regulation is not, nor was it ever conceived to be, an instrument of place making, whether for cities, suburbs, or rural communities. Wilderness and parks perhaps, but not human settlements. Despite the primacy of ecology to place, of natural systems to the livability and overall quality of life of cities and towns, the U.S. environmental protection system has traditionally not been in the business of place making. By place making I mean the art of planning, designing, and building physical

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