Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Big question

When Vaclav Havel speaks, we should listen. And here he is speaking his mind about the modern world and also modern cities. (H/T FeedBurner)

But what is he saying? He does not like modern urban "sprawl." He seemingly blames architects, economists, modernists and others. Is he Prince Charles? I cannot be sure.

But in my previous post, I said some good things about modern cities and land markets. I fear that modern metro areas are too big and too complex for human design. They evolve from human action rather than from human design. But designers do come up with some wonderful things. Almost everything I can see or feel in my immediate surroundings represents some triumph of human design and engineering. So what is the proper division of labor? New Urbanists have great faith in their ability to craft almost the entire built environment. But that has Fatal Conceit written all over it.

When smart people like Havel speak up about cities, I wish they would address the division of labor question.