A Plea For Beauty by Roger Scruton

From the introduction:

“Our culture is a culture of cities, and without cities we could not conceivably have enjoyed the enormous scientific, economic, and political advances of the Enlightenment. Cities are also the heart of the modern nation state, and every country that modernizes does so by mass migration from country to city. No environmental problem is more important, therefore, than that posed by the degradation of our cities, and we must reflect on the factors that might prevent or reverse the decay that we are witnessing. To fight the blight, some policymakers have embraced urban planning. Although some successful examples of planned cities exist, such planning has often failed to produce city centers where people want to live or spend leisure time. To plan or not to plan is a false choice. Instead, civic leaders should think in terms of fostering beauty through the use of aesthetic constraints. These constraints may help reduce sprawl and make American city centers attractive homes—in the vein of great European cities such as Paris and
Florence—rather than deserted eyesores.”

In this paper, Philosopher Roger Scruton provides his “Manifesto for a New Urbanism.” Provocative and well argued.

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