the humanist city

June 8th, 2008 by Romeo Anghelache

A city should be a place with a high density of people that can hear, two-three times per day, something like the (probably well-known) Islamic habit of call to prayer, sung from the highest sky-scraper downtown by a human voice.

The song should remind us that we are humans in no hurry to anywhere and we should take our time to do our little best with our passing through this world. No God-related bullshit. It should interrupt what we are doing, for 5 minutes, that’s when we should make a personal ritual gesture towards the quality of human life: it should be our rhythmic recollection of what we are and what we’re doing.

The city should be covered by a network of sidewalks, an underground public transportation network based on some renewable resource like electricity, and plenty of natural meeting places with tables and chairs where you can sit among trees or on grass and chat with your random neighbor about life and its derivatives. The personal cars should be parked at the outskirts of the city, only industrial/food transportation-related cars should be allowed to pass through it, along with firefighters and emergency-related transportation.

The main purposes of a humanist urban settlement are to fine-tune social administrative issues, to efficiently produce things that are needed, to improve systematically the human knowledge, to train the youth in critical thinking. Cultural acts fill the blanks.

That’s the humanist city.

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