The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Wednesday, June 23, 2004
More on Buildings and Food
(well I lied about the food)

See fairly thoughtful article on urban design by Christopher Leerssen over on the PCA online mag. Leersen laments about the usual stuff: big box stores, surburbia, etc., but never really comes down on whether or not the civil nagistrate should intervene.

But I fully agree with him when he observes:

"These days, sidewalks are the exception, the town square is a quaint and nostalgic idea, and public benches and places to sit are discouraged. The neighborhood park often is an enormous tract of land on the outskirts of town; some might drive there, but no one really owns it. Where, in today’s communities, are the places that parades are held and speeches given? Where is the special nook for young lovers to become engaged to be married? Where can neighbors be neighbors to one another, and where can rich and poor walk down the sidewalks as fellow citizens? "

Purhaps no one builds city squares any more because no one knows what to do with them. Our culture by and large has no need for a place for public rallies, civic speeches, etc. But you WILL find loads of people at parks that have playgrounds, ball fields and picnic shelters. These are still included in new developments within cities.

Purhaps the key ingredient for community in our cities are families. Kids are frequently what bring households together.

Could it be that family are more important than the shape of the built environment?