The employment of “starchitects” in modern cities has seen a drastic change over the past few decades.
Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle (as well as six other books), was the keynote speaker at CNU 21, the 21st annual conference of the Congress for the New Urbanism, held this year in Salt Lake City, Utah. CNU 21′s theme was Living Community and Louv’s task was to weave the connection between family, nature and community.
I saw a few more panels on Friday, and spent much of the weekend visiting Salt Lake City's various neighborhoods.
Sarah Susanka's plenary address contained one line that spoke to me. She spoke about an "appreciation for space", comparable to an appreciation for music. I think one reason I don't fit in with my relatives and friends who have gotten used to sprawl is that I have a highly developed, perhaps overdeveloped, sense of space. My relatives in Atlanta have gotten used to things (such as streets without sidewalks) that horrify me.
One interesting part of today's CNU session was Andres Duany's keynote speech. Duany focused on the relationship between environmentalism and New Urbanism. He suggested that the fear of climate change was actually more important in shaping public policy than climate change itself, because this fear may create long-term demoralization (especially, I suspect, among environmentalists - though I'm not sure if Duany was saying this).