Howard Gillette, Jr.


On his book Civitas by Design: Building Better Communities, from the Garden City to the New Urbanism

Cover Interview of July 11, 2010


Civitas by Design went to press as the country entered one of its worst recessions.  It was obvious that, even with a new president steeped in progressive values and associated with community work, the persistent problems of our most devastated post-industrial cities were not going to receive immediate priority. Crisis management rather than long-term reform has been the primary concern of the early Obama administration.

That being said, I still have hope that design precedents that fully incorporate a commitment to social justice can once again be utilized in a variety of circumstances. The history of interventions to upgrade physical conditions with hopes of strengthening our civic life offer both precedents and lessons for improvement.  We have the information to extend these efforts. We need only the will to act.

© 2010 Howard Gillette, Jr.