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By Percival Goodman, Paul Goodman


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The effect of it is, within a short time, to reach out toward the next small or large town and to create a still greater and more planless metropolitan area. This is the ameboid spreading that Patrick Geddes called conurbation. Culturally, the suburb is too city-bound to have any definite character, but certain tendencies are fairly apparent -caused partly by the physical facts and partly, no doubt, by the kind of persons who choose to be suburbanites. Families are isolated from the more diverse contacts of city culture, and they are atomized internally by the more frecjuent absence of the wage earner.

O n the other hand, there are those who cannot forget the vision of Sitte and want to revive the city. Their ideal for the vast metropolis is not a grand profile against the sky but the reconstitution of neighborhoods, of real cities i n the metropolis where people go on their own feet and meet face to face in a square. Housing W i t h the city squares of Sitte and the conception of neighborhoods as sub-cities, we return f u l l circle from the suburban flight. Seduced b y the monumental capitals of Europe, Sitte himself loses his vision and begins to talk about ornamental plazas at the ends of driveways; but the natural development of his thought would be community centers of unified neighborhoods w i t h i n the urban mass, squares on which open industry, residence, politics, and humanities.

Lastly, in the ideal of a culture town, perhaps somewheie in Westchester or in Madison Avenue Connecticut, we return to the integrated town of 1640, built around its plaza. This plaza has perhaps a church, and perhaps a school, but no overseas market and no provincial governor. No farmers. No Indians. And the plan after the last—is the city without streets. With the advent of the helicopter, this apparently anomalous conception will no doubt come to exist—it has already been suggested by Fuller and others.

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