As the roundness of early granaries and enclosures reminds us, the town was originally conceived of as female. A place of conviviality and of plenty, its inhabitants were nourished in body and soul, with food for the stomach, warmth and beauty for the senses, and conversation to stimulate the mind. It was also a place of safety that kept the hazards of the wild at bay. But what of our towns now – bereft of human warmth, filled with lonely lives, and more dangerous than the jungle?
«Life flourishes in this dilation of the senses: without it, the beat of the pulse is slower, the tone of the muscles is lower, the posture lacks confidence, the finer discriminations of eye and touch are lacking, perhaps the will-to-live itself is defeated. To starve the eye, the ear, the skin, is just as much to court death as to withhold food from the stomach.[...] Verbal mastery cannot make up for sensory malnutrition.»
Lewis Mumford, The culture of cities