A street in Yemen.
Tyne Bridge, England.
Map of Tenochtitlan, a major city of the Aztecs. Really Narrow Streets?
Really Narrow Street in Switzerland.
A little run down, no doubt about it. But the Traditional City looks
pretty good even when in disrepair. Both Suburban Hell and the 19th
Century Hypertrophic City look kinda scummy even at their best, and
quickly degenerate into a wasteland if people get even a bit careless.
Holy moley those are some gorgeous buildings. We should round up all
the architects today and give them a good spanking.
On the one hand, there is almost nothing here. Just some blank walls
painted a rather dirty yellow. And yet, it is quite lovely. Once you
start introducing cars, everything becomes a lot more difficult.
St. Paul de Vence, southern France.
More Really Narrow Street porn.
This stuff is sooooo easy to make. It's nothing. You just have to do it.
Some suggestive ideas about integrating high-rises and Traditional City
In a Traditional City, which is a place for People, not Cars, then --
you guessed it -- there are people!
2009: Life Without Cars: 2009 Edition
This is "becoming an adult day" in Japan. Girls who turned 20 all dress
up in tippy-top quality kimono and parade around town.
When your city become a place for Cars, not People, then nobody goes
out on the street like this. You don't dress like this in a place for
Believe me, it is way more fun when your city is a place for People.
It's so horrible. Unbearable to look at, really. Can't we just replace
this with a parking lot?
Robin Hood's Bay, England.
Robin Hood's Bay. Once again an example of the principle that you have
a compact City (or village), and then Nature (or farms). You don't have
some spread out goo that is neither City nor Nature nor Farm. That's
why we call it Suburban Hell instead of Suburban Heaven. It doesn't
Here is an example of 19th Century
Hypertrophism. At first glance, this might look like a Traditional
City, but obviously it is not. The roadway is not a Really Narrow
Street for pedestrians, it is a two-hundred-foot-wide colossus for
automobiles -- even though, in fact, this street was laid out a hundred
years before automobiles. The buildings are side-by-side and right up
against the roadway, with no useless Green Space, but they are
Hypertrophic, an exaggerated version of the 3-7 story Traditional City
building. The human is not a happy person in an environment designed
for human use (the pedestrian, no-car Traditional City), but a tiny
speck in a vast concrete canyon, squeezed between a Great Pyramid-like
monster monolith building and eight lanes of deadly roaring traffic.
2010: Let's Take a Trip to New York 2: The Bad and the Ugly
24, 2010: Let's Take a Trip to New York City
You can live your whole life comfortably in a Traditional City. It is
very inviting and pleasant. But after a few years of living in a 19th
Century Hypertrophic city, most people get worn out and yearn for
something soft, human, gentle, comfortable. For the last two hundred
years, in the U.S., this has meant the suburbs.
Doesn't really work, does it?
The proper solution is of course the Traditional City.
What do you think -- that we have amassed 200 years of failure with the
inhospitable 19th/20th Century Hypertrophic City/Suburban Hell combo,
but we're going to get it right in the next 200 years? Oh really? Is
there even one single example of success after 200 years of trying? No,
there is not one.
You either learn from your mistakes ... or you don't.
Definitely NOT a 19th Century Hypertrophic city, is it?
Jaffa is considered one of the oldest cities in the world, dating from
Yes, 7,500 BC.
How is that
19, 2009: Let's Kick Around the "Sustainability" Types
Do you see what I mean about a soft, inviting, human-friendly
environment? A nice place for kids, women, families, senior citizens.
Not a concrete jungle with eight lanes of roaring traffic in the middle.
Some nice trees here but no Green Space.
This is your European heritage. Not to shabby, right? Why not just
enjoy it rather than avoiding it?
There's a lesson here about incorporating large buildings with Really