Considering Urbanists of the Past

May 21, 2019
Ryan Ward
study trio
Hoi vrienden!

Before the class discussion this morning, we watched a lecture from Dr. Maxwell on the origins of the “sustainable city” concept. We also split into groups which each read one of four passages by prominent urbanists of the past century and a half. When the class met together this morning Dr. Maxwell led the class through a discussion of these articles.
First, we discussed Ebenezer Howard “Town and Country Magnet” which attempts to combine the best parts of urban living with the best parts of rural living to design the ideal living situation. Next, we discussed Anne Spirn, who argued that urban space cannot be void of nature, and that the ideal living situation is one in which nature and urban development is harmonious.

Following that, we discussed Ian McHarg, who argued that cities were disgusting and out of touch with the needs of nature and their inhabitants. Lastly, we talked about Jane Jacobs and her opinion that city planners at her time were grossly over simplifying city development and had forgotten the important parts of urban living like the senses of place and community. After the discussion, we worked individually to finish up our Bike Facilities report and to prepare for our next class discussion on “Life Between Buildings.”

The whole class finished up with a potluck. We had some incredible cheese, sausage, steak, grilled veggies, and potato salad!

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