Old Urbanism


Here on the American West Coast, some people make explicitly anti-urban claims about the characters of our cities. They say, to be blunt, that our cities are meant to be low-density, more suburban affairs. Here in Berkeley, just yesterday, I overheard a couple older residents bewailing the threat to the city's quality of life posed by multistory buildings and transit.

Amusingly, the day before I'd been in a local bookshop and seen this old postcard touting Berkeley's quality of life. You'll note the multistory buildings, streetcar and pedestrian-focused streets. Indeed, if you added vaccinations, the Internet and racial diversity to this painting, it'd pretty much be the Berkeley I'd like to live in today.