The urban over the rural

Here’s a reading recommendation for today. Owen Hatherley has taken a lot of shit from the blogosphere, most of it unjustified. Then I read an interview over at 3:AM and discover that he’s actually a bright and perceptive fellow. Here’s an extract:

Given the choice between living in a city of eight million people or living even within 30 miles of Alex James’ fucking dairy farm, I know which I’d choose.

I’m wholly comfortable with the demise of pre-industrial society, and I am thankful for the sanitation, medication, packaged food and central heating brought by the industrial revolution, which is not the same thing as being thankful for industrial capitalism. I feel no attachment whatsoever to The Land, I like living in cities, and given the enormous rate of emigration from country to city right now so do an extremely large proportion of humanity (and funnily enough, it has recently been found that cities are actually more environmentally friendly than the suburbs or the countryside). Given how appalling the conditions of the first factories in Manchester were, you have to imagine how unbelievably awful the Lancashire countryside must have been to inspire such rapid emigration from one to the other.


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