The American Conservative is pleased to announce that distinguished English philosopher Sir Roger Scruton, who senior editor Rod Dreher has called “a gift and a wonder,” has been appointed the magazine’s New Urbanism Fellow. Upon accepting the role, Scruton commented:
It is a great honor to be invited to take up this fellowship. Conservatism is based in the desire to protect a shared home. The question of how we design the places where we settle is therefore at the centre of the conservative vision of political order, so that architecture must occupy a central place in the conservative vision of culture. The point is one that I have made throughout my literary career, and it is marvelous that a leading conservative journal has joined in taking up the cause.
Scruton, long a defender of traditional urbanism and authentic sustainability, is the author of dozens of books, including The Aesthetics of Architecture, How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case for an Environmental Conservatism, and News From Somewhere: On Settling. He is also a previous contributor to The American Conservative, having authored our June 2007 cover story, “A Righter Shade of Green.” That essay asked why conservation issues have become the exclusive property of progressive activists, but also touched on how conservatives might acknowledge the perverse incentives that destroy a sustainable balance between the built and natural environments:
The real cause of the environmental problems we face is not so much large private enterprises or the pursuit of profit or even capitalism as such. It is the habit we all have of externalizing our costs…. [S]uburbanization forces millions to go to work in cars everyday when they might have been walking. It requires vast acreages of the countryside to be covered with buildings and roads, destroying natural ecosystems. Yet it goes ahead because it is something that people want, and the cost can be easily externalized onto other generations or people in other parts of the world.
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We would like to thank both the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation for their generous support of the New Urbanism Initiative at The American Conservative.
For more information, or media inquiries, please contact executive editor Lewis McCrary at [email protected]