Ahead of his time, technology historian and urban philosopher Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) grasped the paradoxes of modern life and the long term pitfalls of the urban evolution he witnessed in the 1950s and 1960s. I stumbled across some great quotes of his today:
- Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.
- Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.
- The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.
- New York is the perfect model of a city, not the model of a perfect city.
- Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf. (my favorite)
Much of Mumford’s work is timeless and a treat to read. Similar to the work of Jane Jacobs, perhaps more applicable now than when he wrote.