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February 29, 2008

Richard Florida

The Passionate City

« Real Education | Main | Spiky = Green »

While travelling this week, my colleague and paisono, Pier Giorgio DeCicco, Toronto's poet laureate,  gave a major address on this subject (via Tree Hugger).

"What is required is an essential atmosphere of passion. Without it, we put up bad buildings, invent bandage solutions, and have merely a topology of artistic events cosmetic to daily life. Fine words. What are the strategies? We have “zero tolerance” for just about any form of abuse, to our credit. Perhaps it is time we had zero tolerance for what enfeebles the passionate imagination of a city. What enfeebles it?

1. The notion that money predicates vision.
2. The mean-spiritedness that criticizes before it allows.
3. The conventions of “safeness” from either the left or the right.
4. Anything that discourages human encounter in the interest of expedience and time-saving."

It's worth mentioning that his lecture was at The Institute without Boundaries at George Brown College which was the core partner on design guru Bruce Mau's Massive Change project,


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Zoe B

Here, here! I have been arguing for several years that our downtown - in order to compete with the strip malls - should be beautiful. People go out of their way to spend time in beauty. Cost is not really the issue. If you have the desire to live in beauty you will find a way to make it happen. The traditional Australian Aborigines were among the poorest people on earth. No place on the continent was guaranteed free of drought, so everyone had to migrate sooner or later. They had no wheel, nor any beast of burden, so they could take only what they could carry. Yet they developed an artistic tradition that now graces art museums around the world. If they could do it, we have no excuse.


Zoe - Yes, Yes, YES. Who's Your City? picks this up big time. There is a whole section on "beauty" and aesthetics that draws directly from the big survey I did with Gallup on what people truly desire in their communities.

Mike Linacre

5. Expensive or unobtainable mandatory liability insurance ... This killed our much-loved steam-engine rally.

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