City Builder Book Club: Chapter 11

Part 2: The conditions of city diversity

Chapter 11: The need for concentration 

Chapter 11, p 232

Much of this growth will come directly from big cities themselves, because big cities are no longer eaters of people as they were not so long ago.  They have become suppliers of people.

The increase can be dribbled out in suburbs, semi-suburbs, and dull new “in-between” belts…or we can take advantage of this metropolitan area growth, and with at least part of it, we can begin building up currently unfit city districts, limping along at “in-between” densities – build them up to the point where (in conjunction with other conditions of generating diversity) these concentrations of population can support city life possessing character and liveliness.

Chapter 11, p 233

People gathered in concentration of big-city size and density can be felt to be an automatic- if necessary – evil.  This is a common assumption: that human beings are charming in small numbers and noxious in large numbers.

….On the other hand, people gathered in a concentration of city size and density can be considered a positive good, in the faith that they are desirable because they are a source of immense vitality…

Given this point of view, it follows that the presence of great numbers of people gathered together in cities should not only be frankly accepted as a physical fact.  It follows that they should also be enjoyed as an asset and their presence celebrated…


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