Friday, 1 June 2012

Some cool quotes about cities

Lately I've been enjoying some quality reading about cities, and, seeing as my wife was unreceptive ("Are they going to be as boring as your quotes on parking?"), I thought I'd share some of my favourite quotes with Freo Doctor readers instead:

William H. Whyte on seating:

"The human backside is a dimension architects seem to have forgotten."

There isn't much I can add to this quote, it says it all.

Richard Florida on creative cities:

"Mayors, economic development leaders and city builders are best served by investing in both an appealing people climate and a competitive business climate, together.

To that end, they should eschew overly-generous business incentives and avoid large-scale investments in pro sports stadiums, convention centers, and big-time arts and cultural institutions. They are much better served by placing many smaller bets on school upgrades, the creation of parks and green spaces, and historical preservation - the kinds of quality of place improvements that Jane Jacobs long ago emphasized will stay rooted in and create benefits for their communities for a long time to come."

Florida has been on a hot streak lately. I really like this quote which is how Florida concludes his article on what critics get wrong about creative cities. (If you like the cut of his jib, check out another one of his recent articles which I documented on my blog here.)

Jane Jacobs on the keys to revitalising cities:

"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.”

It isn't a stretch to find a common sense, kick ass quote from the legendary Jane Jacobs. Reading this quote, I can't help but feel that Carol Coletta's idea of a Central Activities District instead of a Central Business District is an awesome concept just waiting to be applied in Freo.

Jan Gehl providing a useful backward map for getting development right:

"First life, then spaces, then buildings – the other way around never works."

Again another common sense quote from another legendary placemaker. I'm thinking that a placemaking strategy for the entire city centre with accompanying precinct plans (especially for the eastern end of the city centre) would be of great value.

1 comment:

  1. Must have missed these very useful musings. Thanx Michael, keep them coming ;> Cathy