Stage 5 The Ethical City

The Ethical City?

Glasgow, Gaelic Glaschu, city, west-central Scotland, is situated along both banks of the River Clyde 20 miles (32 km) from that river’s mouth on the western, or Atlantic, coast. Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, and it forms an independent council area that lies entirely within the historic county of Lanarkshire.

“The more successfully a city mingles everyday diversity of uses and users in its everyday streets, the more successfully, casually (and economically) its people thereby enliven and support well-located parks that can thus give back grace and delight to their neighborhoods instead of vacuity.”

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities 1961


Density and diversity define a city. Correspondingly an urban landscape is of necessity a multi-leveled physical and spatial construct which invariably transforms, certainly intensifies, sometimes disfigures but occasionally enhances or dramatizes our experience of the land upon which it is built. History and memory are ingrained, and future possibilities revealed, in the ever-changing composition of the urban landscape. Patterns of land acquisition, subdivision, public and private ownership guide the evolution of building typologies, urban form and space. Each mutually defines the other and each requires clear physical delineation to gain legibility, the continuity of public space contrasting with the necessarily discreet nature of private space. In this context, the primary aim of an urban architecture is to clarify, articulate and characterize the interface between the public and private domains. The arrangements of spaces between buildings are to be considered as inextricably related to the spaces within.

The Everyday, Metropolitan and International City

Scale and measurement are crucial to the understanding of the size, composition, uses, geography, grain and textures which inform the character of the place, revealing the structure, patterns of land subdivision and ownership which lead to the corresponding configurations of built forms which collectively coalesce to form the urban tissue of blocks and districts in the city and relate to wider strategic forces.

“The healthy mind discovers itself, not by looking within, but by examining the outer world, comparing its experiences and inquiring into their mutual relations.”

Roger Hinks, The Gymnasium of the mind, 1984.