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May 03, 2010

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Edward Becerra

Honestly, I can't quite grasp your complaint. I feel that rural life is the best life, and that cities are a blight upon the planet.

Then again, I was born in a small town, raised in a small town, and after a career in the military (itself essentially a small town - in olive drab, with guns), retired to a small town.

Oh, granted, there are folks who enjoy life in the Big City - but there are also folks who enjoy the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard. I see them as being much the same.

Can't understand the appeal of a big city - anything more than 5,000 people, preferably less than 100 per square mile - and probably never will.

Ed Becerra

John F. Ptak

Ed: if it weren't for cities the US would be "peopled up" much more than it is--you might not be able to look out your window without seeing the back of someone else's head looking at the back of someone else's head (and so on). A plan like the above would make 60,000 small towns of 5,000 each/300k at 1000 each; so I guess there would be a general diffusion of small towns to the point where people were just bloody everywhere. (Now *that* sent a bad chill down my spine.) I can appreciate your appreciation of the small town--I like towns big and small, though presently I live in a smallest city/town of 60,000 which is as small as it has gotten for me.

Nexialist

@ John: I absolutely love the post. I'm currently looking into Ludwig Hilberseimer's strategic regional/urban planning of the 1950s in connection to the decentralization "paradigm" which eventually culminated in the emergence of suburbia, so i'm greatful for the detail level!
@ Ed: People may not like cities, but let's not forget that prior to industrialization and/or modernization and prior to the establishment of the United States, cities were the sole "engines" of freedom in an otherwise rural/feudal "world"...we owe cities that much gratitude, regardless how much or less appeal they hold!

Jeff Donlan

Cities permit a critical mass ... oh, wait, sorry ... well, anyway, the concentration permits energies of all kinds, useful and not. The dispersion of the population would have been a kind of forced diffusion leading to something like heat death. Small towns are small ponds: They can dry up easily or be distorted by just a few weird fish. It takes a lot of effort to stay connected to thousands of distant places. Also, all the small places of 5,000 (hey, like my home!) are made more livable by the existence of large cities elsewhere. Etc. &c. I have more to say, but it's time to go home for dessert.

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