And there's the rub: Do Americans even want to be urban? There's something about the so-called American Dream and our Manifest Destiny that seems anti-thetical to the whole notion of living an urban lifestyle.
Originally posted by KyleEzellGetUrban
I wrote a paper for an urban design graduate seminar. The paper focused on the design of Faneuil Hall - accounting for its history and its rehabilitation in 1976 - and its relationship to the Boston urban fabric. The course clearly focused on urban design - it barely touched the suburban reality and sneered at the whole New Urbanist movement. Anyway, back to my point. I quoted Robert Campbell from a 1981 issue of AIA Journal in my paper and perhaps his comments on Faneuil Hall are similar to what your book is trying to accomplish:
Whenever you start out to do something you've never done before, you have to go through a period in which you feel that you're merely impersonating yourself doing this new thing. After a time, you come to feel that you yourself are really doing it. The marketplace is an impersoantion of a kind of urban life that no longer exists in most of America. It's a theatrical representation of street life. It has to be this, because that is a stage we have to go through as we begin cautiously, self-consciously to re-enact the urban culture we abandoned. Good luck! And thanks for sharing with us.