Archive

Quotes

The more men are massed together, the more corrupt they become. Disease and vice are the sure results of overcrowded cities.

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762

Any city, however small, is in fact divided into two, one the city of the poor, the other of the rich; these are at war with one another.

—Plato, c. 378 BC

My ideas are clear. My orders are precise. Within five years, Rome must appear marvelous to all the people of the world—vast, orderly, powerful, as in the time of the empire of Augustus.

—Benito Mussolini, 1929

Divine nature gave the fields; human art built the cities.

—Marcus Terentius Varro, c. 70 BC

A large city cannot be experientially known; its life is too manifold for any individual to be able to participate in it.

—Aldous Huxley, 1934

The country only has charms for those not obliged to stay there. 

—Édouard Manet, c. 1860

Cities are the abyss of the human species.

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762

What is the city but the people?

—William Shakespeare, 1608

Does anybody really want to attend to cities other than to flee, fleece, privatize, butcher, or decimate them?

—Jane Holtz Kay, 1992

The life of the city never lets you go, nor do you ever want it to.

—Wallace Stevens, 1952

Every city has a sex and an age which have nothing to do with demography. Rome is feminine. So is Odessa. London is a teenager, an urchin, and in this hasn’t changed since the time of Dickens. Paris, I believe, is a man in his twenties in love with an older woman.

—John Berger, 1987

A hick town is one where there is no place to go where you shouldn’t go.

—Alexander Woollcott, c. 1935

There is a city in which you find everything you desire—handsome people, pleasures, ornaments of every kind—all that the natural person craves. However, you cannot find a single wise person there.

—Rumi, c. 1250