Why did western cities become ugly?

Lots of new construction neighborhoods out in the suburbs tend to be cookie cutter homes on grids. Basically 40 to 500 homes, all one of three models with identical landscaping. Maybe five different colors of siding.

400k to own one of 150 identical homes in your development of homes built on top of one another.


Well, San Francisco can’t build a new neighborhood without it sinking immediately.

Having lived in those European cities, it’s a combination of factors: cost of building in urban areas, soulless developers, rampant corporatism, aesthetics (which was once a key area of education) resigned to the past while vacuous trends predominate, development conflated with airport concourse consumer (non)culture, corrupt politicians in charge of zoning laws. And other shit I can’t think of because I’m about to crash.

Postmodernism and the death of objective beauty and truth


Paging Henry Miller’s long descriptions of this in Tropic of Capricorn & The Air-Conditioned Nightmare.

SF just gentrifies furiously

But you think with all that money they’d build something good.

Incidentally I seem to recall the main reason the historical areas of Savannah survived because the city was too poor to ‘redevelop’ the old areas in the 50’s and 60’s.

There’s cools stuff in the city. There are shitty places like the Tenderloin too.


It is simply not cost effective for developers to create architecturally beautiful residential buildings

The only way the Salesforce tower could be more SF is if there was a syringe sticking out of a vein on the shaft of that purple headed monster.