As you read my blog, you will often see me talk about and promote the Traditional City. This post will be an introductory to the Traditional City for those that are not familiar with it.

    I have been called a quack - criticised for promoting the Traditional City as a cure-all for many of today's urban ailments (declining small businesses, obesity, social mobility and equality, reducing our cost of living, cutting down on our oil dependency, among others such as the general dullness of suburbia) often by people that do not truely understand what the traditional city is.


    Over the years, there have been many theories as to why wide streets became the American standard (some sources hint that the early planners believed it would stop the spread of fires and diseases, others say surveyers simply wanted to sell off large areas of land.)

This reminds me that I still haven't gotten around to reading my book on 19th century urban development in the United States.

I am really not a fan of suburbia (seriously, the site of this makes me feel uncomfortable). I don't think it, as the author says, is human-scale. Nor do I think it is conducive to walking, supporting local business, and forming a general sense of community, and the fact that it makes owning a car a near-necessity. I think it can promote a blandness and a sense of comfort in the sameness of it all. I don't necessarily share the view that wide streets are bad, but I don't know much about that aspect. When I was living near Boston, the North End of the city was awesome. A ton of great eateries, some very cool shops, almost exclusively walkable with very narrow streets and it makes you forget about the rest of the rest of the city. That's the kind of place I want to live, the traditional city. So...Europe is probably the best bet right? :P

Really enjoyed this read, and it aligns with my thoughts. I don't see the trend changing anytime soon in America, our cities are mostly built and developed at this point, and a traditional city would be a radical change.

posted by forwardslash: 1785 days ago