Density rather than diffuseness is the European tradition. Here in the Old World we more easily get on each other’s nerves, without the option of moving out, away from one another into wide uninhabited spaces. Because of this, it becomes a crucial question whether we are capable of evolving intelligent life strategies -- beyond the American model of comfortable coexistence -- and complex, flexible social conditions, since the wisdom of arranging human affairs is the highest category of achievement.

Hence one can say that the city -- as a work of art, as a tissue created and evolved -- is the greatest product of our civilization. This provides a particularly strong reason for us not to treat our cities the way we have treated our rivers, not to mention the difficulty of appreciating the achievements of military science amidst such high population density. We already know what a tricky assignment it is to coexist on this shrunken continent. It is called for, therefore, that the confident planning mind correct itself through constant self-examination.

-“My Utopia”