Philosophy of Urban Planning

"Some of my friends have suggested that such a scheme of town clusters is well enough adapted to a new country, but that in an old-settled country, with its towns built and its railway 'system' for the most part constructed, it is quite a different matter. But surely to raise such a point is to contend, in other words, that the existing wealth forms of the country are permanent, and are forever to serve as hindrances to the introduction of better forms: that crowded, ill-ventilated, unplanned, unwieldy, unhealthy cities--ulcers on the very face of our beautiful island--are to stand as barriers to the introduction of towns in which modern scientific methods and the aims of social reformers may have the fullest scope in which to express themselves. No, it cannot, be, at least, it cannot be for long. What Is may hinder What Might Be for a while, but cannot stay the tide of progress. These crowded cities have done their work; they were the best which a society largely based on selfishness and rapacity could construct, but they are in the nature of things entirely unadapted for a society in which the social side of our nature is demanding a larger share of recognition--a society where even the very love of self leads us to insist upon a greater regard for the well-being of our fellows."

Ebenezer Howard, Garden Cities of To-Morrow (London, 1902. Reprinted, edited with a Preface by F. J. Osborn and an Introductory Essay by Lewis Mumford. (London: Faber and Faber, [1946]):50-57, 138- 147.
http://www.library.cornell.edu/Reps/DOCS/howard.htm.

A presentation by Pat Sunter to the Melbourne Unitarian Philosophy Forum, Sunday March 3, 2013