There are few people who do not enjoy the magic of a great city. But urban sprawl takes it away from everyone except the few who are lucky enough, or rich enough, to live close to the largest centers.


Put the magic of the city within reach of everyone in a metropolitan area. Do this by means of collective regional policies which restrict the growth of downtown areas so strongly that no one downtown can grow to serve more than 300,000 people. With this population base, the downtowns will be between two and nine miles apart.

… next to the Mosaic of Subcultures (8), perhaps the most important structural feature of a city is the pattern of those centers where the city life is most intense. These centers can help form the mosaic of subcultures by their variety; and they can also help to form City Country Fingers (3), if each of the centers is at a natural meeting point of several fingers. This pattern was first written by Luis Racionero under the name “Downtown of 300,000”.

Treat each downtown as a pedestrian and local transport area — Local Transport Areas (11), Promenade (31), with good transit connections from the outlying areas — Web of Public Transport (16); encourage a rich concentration of night life within each downtown — Night Life (33), and set aside at least some part of it for the wildest kind of street life — Carnival (58), Dancing in the Street (63)