Page:Old Towns and New Needs.djvu/21

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5
OLD TOWNS AND NEW NEEDS

because I have some facts to put before you which show how impossible it is to secure that uniformity of circumstance upon which alone a science can be built.

There are three considerations which I wish to present, considerations which have an irresistible influence upon the subject we have met to consider.

(1). One is that towns, whether they receive regulated control or not, take and continue their disposition in accordance with certain influences which cannot be wholly checked by any laws or for that matter by any by-laws.

(2). Another is that for obvious reasons a town of size and importance cannot be planned as such from its birth.

(3). The third, and I don't mean to suggest that these three are all the disturbing factors I might catalogue, is that towns however perfect are always changing the units of their formation.

Each of these considerations in itself is so complex that I purposely refrain from attempting to give them names.

You will have gathered from my title, and from what I have already said, that I am abstaining almost entirely from the study of town-planning in its idealist aspect, the delightful and unusual pastime of pegging out a whole bran new city on a houseless thousand acre field. (This has been done, of course, by Romulus and other Romans, by Alexander and by American pioneers).

I am also keeping away from the subject of suburb plotting around existing towns, a fascinating theme on which you will hear Mr. Unwin, a specialist—and, what is more—an expert.