Sunday, April 24, 2016

Nathan Lewis: People Who are Not Directly Involved in Agriculture Should Live in Urban Places

Published at P2P-Foundation on Octobre 19, 2014.

My place Totenby some named "Totscana" as a Norwegian counterpart of famous Italian Toscana, has lost much of its charm by suburban houses spread all over this pleasant landscape. This is a horrible thing to do! This way the beautiful landscape is reduced to a kind of Los Angeles like Suburban Hell!
Suburban housing doesn't belong to the countryside, like in "Totscana". People who are not directly involved in agriculture should live in urban places. Otherwise the countryside becomes reduced to a kind of Suburban Hell, a favourite phrase of Nathan Lewis.
Read Nathan Lewis' essay:
From the essay:
We don't try to mix "the city" and "farms." Urban places are dense and distinct from farming areas. People who are not directly involved in agriculture should live in urban places -- whether tiny country villages, or huge metropolises.

European village

European village. Although this village is in an agricultural region, this village itself is a dense urban place, and there is a distinct transition to farmland.

We don't try to mix the "city" and "farms" -- i.e. suburbia.

Chinese village

Chinese village. Again, a dense urban place, and farmlands. Don't mix them.

It seems the US Americans have been teaching children that surburbia is good and urbanism is bad ever since 1952. Thanks alot! - KRISTIAN HOFF-ANDERSEN
But of course, modernist "urbanism" is not urbanism, it's nihilism! Only traditional urbanism can support pleasure of life. Nathan Lewis is one of the best urbanist writers, so go on to his fabolous archive to learn more:

Traditional City/Heroic Materialism Series

Using A Pattern Language we can create urban spaces more joyful than the New Jerusalem in the book of Revelation
The Eco-Technic Civilization. Try to imagine it. If you can imagine it, you can have it! It is actually cheaper and easier to do than today's Suburban Hell. - Nathan Lewis


  1. Nathan Lewis has a great site, one which I came across when doing some research about Christopher Alexander and the New Urbanist movement. It's one of my favorite websites on architecture and urban planning. Speaking of Heroic Materialism, have you ever watched the original BBC series in which Lord Kenneth Clark coined that term? It's a classic and still worth watching. Here is a playlist for all 13 episodes.

  2. Yes, Lewis is really one of the best and most entertaining urban writers! When Alexander becomes a little bit "heavy" sometimes, it can be refreshing to read some by Lewis for a change.

    Thank you for informing me about the origins of the term Heroic Materialism. Look forward to see the documentary.


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