Alain de Botton: Six fundamental things cities need to get right.
We’ve grown good at making many things in the modern world – but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again.
The philosopher, author, and founder of London’s The School of Life lays out six qualities of attractive cities:
- Order (buildings should be uniform in appearance and layout—to a degree)
- Visible life (it’s nice to see people walking the streets and working in shop windows)
- Compactness (don’t sprawl)
- Orientation and mystery (a balance of large and small streets should allow for efficient travel… and for getting lost, on occasion)
- Scale (a building should be five stories max, unless what it stands for isreally worth more air space)
- A sense of the local (Melbourne should look a little different from Barcelona, because its cultural and geographic qualities are different).