Quote of the Fortnight: Joel Garreau’s Edge City – Life on the New Frontier

This week, the quote of the fortnight goes back to urbanism – and Joel Garreau’s highly influential book on 1990s-era suburbia, “Edge City: Life on the New Frontier.”


“The controversial assumption undergirding this book is that Americans basically are pretty smart cookies who generally know what they’re doing.

Lord knows, we’ve sorely tested that premise over the last four centuries. But it is further assumed that this good sense is especially evident when Americans cussedly march off in precisely the opposite directions from those toward which our elders and betters have been aiming us. At such times of apparently rampant perversity, this thinking goes, the correct response is not to throw up one’s hands and decry Americans as fools. It is to echo Gandhi when he said, ‘There go my people; I must rush to catch up with them, for I am their leader.’

… Individual Americans today are once again inventing a brand-new future – the biggest change in a hundred years in how we build cities that are the cornerstones, capstones, and, sometimes, milestones of our civilization. As usual, it’s all ad hoc: We’re making it up as we go along.”

Garreau, Joel, Edge City: Life on the New Frontier, Anchor Books, 1992, pg. xix – xx.


Post Image by Harrison Blackman for Expedictionary, CC.




1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s