URSI 100--Introduction to the City

1)       “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing” (Archilocus).  The point of this course is not to survey everything that city professionals know; the point is to make you better city-zens of the place in which you will live.


2)      I can tell you what has been and how we’ve thought about it.  You will have to tell me what will be (and whether what we’ve thought will still work)


3)      Key Themes

a.       How do we create a res publica?  What makes the unum out of a pluribus?  Or, perhaps, can we do without it?


b.      Does place matter?  Or is society becoming virtual?  (Does land use planning matter?  Or is behavior completely adaptable?)


c.       What makes a great, good place?  Can a solution speak across space & time, or are all solutions necessarily contingent & temporary (think of Camelot and You Can’t Go Home Again)?


4)      Memorize this: 

Athenian Oath of Citizenship

                        “We will ever strive for the ideals and sacred things of the city, both alone and with many;

                        “We will unceasingly seek to quicken the sense of public duty;

                        “We will revere and obey the City’s laws;

                        “We will leave this place, not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was given to us.”



© 2003 A.J.Filipovitch
Revised 1 January 06