I want to close by saying there are two things that have always bothered me about the transect – its geographic implications, and the issue of when is something a radical juxtaposition of elements and when is it a transect violation What took me a long time to figure out is, it doesn’t matter.The transect provides a language that is integrative, and it allows people to talk about things like distribution, geography, elements of place, in a way that is explicitly geographic, contextual, diverse, regional, and bureaucratic. And that is the value. As we push forward on trying to find ways to make a better world, we are constantly coming up with new strategies, new approaches, new ways of projecting visions, implementing visions, changing structures or not changing structures, the small and the big, and incremental and the grand. My metric for judging the worth of these strategies is to look at whether or not they are able to integrate different approaches. The transect is one that does.
It’s very unfortunate that there haven’t been better connections made. That there has been infighting Because the real enemies are these Modernist urbanism – CIAM and its polemic (talk about obliterating concepts of place) From Jose Sert’s “Can Our Cities Survive” and this is one of their ingenious solutions Postwar suburbanization – all that post WW II productive capacity expressed itself in phenomenal material growth diverted to the suburbs Now, this was recognized pretty early on, that developments in either of these ways stunk
The incrementalists have little tolerance for any of these other groups The plan-makers are kind of a sad case because they want to reach out to everyone, but everyone is sort of pissed off at them because they blew it So their affections are basically rejected It took me a long time to figure this out, but now it seems very obvious. But I think it is key to understanding urbanism in America, and I think it should be pasted on the first page of the Charter: Warning: here are the essential, recurrent tensions, and you need to recognize them and work through them The New Urbanists know this
NEW URBANISM 101: INTRODUCTION TO THE PRINCIPLES OF NEW URBANISM
New Urbanism in Historical Context Emily Talen Arizona State University
1. New Towns Miletus, 5th c. BC Aigues-Mortes, France, 13th c. Savannah, 1733
Replanning of Rome, 1585-90, Pope Sixtus V L’Enfant’s Plan of Washington, 1791 Versailles Versailles L’Enfant’s Plan of Washington, 1791 Replanning of Rome, 1585-90, Pope Sixtus V The Monumental City
Siena, Italy Baghdad, Iraq Vezelay, France The Organic City