Thursday, June 30, 2005

New Urbanism is not new

Wrens London

People often ask me, is New Urbanism really new. That is not an easy question to answer. Though New Urbanism is based on traditional and time proven principals going back to the begining of civilization, it is new in the sence that these principals have been lost or forgoten and must be relearned or rediscovered.
The Modernists saught to bring every aspect of life under the control of reason by eliminating the traditional principals upon which the societies of the past were built that they saw as a stumbling block to progress. Their "modernist programme" was more successful than they ever dreamed. Today, few human beings in the world are unfamiliar with the despotic, modernist, techno-scientific landscape that has done near irrepairible damage to not only the built environment all around us but the very fabric of society.
So in reaction the everpresent decline of western civilization, in protest to the contiued forces that are transforming our communities in to a post apocoliptic "junkspace," the New Urbanism is a movement of Architects and communtity designers, of all theoretical and easthetic pursuations, that wish to rediscover and return the design of our bulit environment to the time honoured principals upon which our civilization was originaly and beautifuly founded. The principals of the New Urbanism are old, the protest which is the New Urbanism is new.