Old Concepts and New Situations: Human-Centered Urbanization
Towns are the hallmark of human civilization and different civilizations result in different urban patterns. Modern Western civilization, especially English civilization, is characterized by “capitalist” towns which define their architectural style, land use layout, and infrastructure construction, etc. on the basis of added capital efficiency and returns. In modern cities, people are small and helpless, completely in a passive condition. Influenced by the Western civilization, China’s urban construction and planning has followed the Western paradigm, even people’s dissatisfaction with the city is a kind of imitation of the West. Urban planning focuses on the use and distribution of urban space, aiming at providing an efficient production space and a better living space for urban people. The book Old Concepts and New Situations: Human-Centered Urbanization by Hok-Lin Leung discusses how the thinking of ancient philosophy can help us to interpret the modern urban phenomenon and practice modern urban planning and, based on which, to rethink the awareness and significance of human settlement. The author puts forward the concept of “urban people” in this book, arguing that human-centered urbanization is to build up the human settlements that are worthy of all human spirits through serving and giving full play to human nature (rationality and materiality).