The six principles
The London School of Life, founded by writer and philosopher Alain de Botton, distinguishes six principles that govern the attractiveness of a city.
- Order – consider the layout of New York or Paris, but beware of too much order. It can be soul-destroying. The ideal is somewhere in between.
- Visibility of life – people should be visibly engaged in life on the streets.
- Compact, rather than spread out wide – therefore Barcelona, rather than Phoenix, Arizona.
- Orientation and ‘mystery’ – one must apparently be able to become lost yet not be lost. A mixture of larger and smaller streets is the way to get it right.
- Scale – the ideal height is five storeys, which is more humane than the high-rise developments nowadays associated with city skylines. Amsterdam is a good, compact example.
- Local relevance and unique character.
Do read what readers of the British daily newspaper The Guardian have to say by clicking here: