To the Page One Editor:
Regarding Nicolai Ouroussoff's article on Masdar,
I must challenge the claim that "... no one would argue that a city of a few million or more can be organized with such precision [as Masdar], and his [Foster's] fantasy world is only possible as a meticulously planned community ... of modest size." I argued precisely the opposite in _Carfree Design Manual_ (2009), which proposes methods that allow citizens to design their own neighborhoods to meet their needs.
Larger issues, such as public transport, are the task of central planners, but centralized design of local neighborhoods is undesirable. The best urban areas in Europe were never planned; they evolved as countless individual decisions were made through the ages. These dense, mixed-use, four-story districts are as sustainable a form as yet conceived. The limited means available 500 years ago were adequate. We, too, can build them and so create real cities, accessible to all, at a price both we and the environment can afford.
For verification, please contact me at 973 632 4229 or 973 378 7501.
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J.H. Crawford . Carfree Cities