chapter  6.1
5 Pages

Urban Forms and the Dominant Paradigm

WithJanis Birkeland

Different values and ethics flow from the philosophical foundations of the 'dominant paradigm' as opposed to that of an ecological or systems view. Art and architecture historians have examined the embodied values and concepts of buildings and artefacts, but have paid little attention to how these creations reinforce the alienation of humans from the larger web of life. Buildings have replaced natural systems with artificial heating, cooling, lighting and sewage systems, which have proven too costly in resources and energy. Urban form expresses a denial of human dependency on social and ecological support systems, and manifests the belief that can ignore the ecological consequences of development with impunity. Linear progress humanity is destined to transcend progress: nature through technology and social control. Human constructions create new environments or contexts which alter existing social and natural relationships and provide both new opportunities for, and constraints upon, human and biotic communities.