We have a total design failure on our hands. We have ended up with a built environment does not take account of the needs of the vulnerable, it does not produce intrinsically healthy environments either indoors or outdoors, and it has evolved in a manner that has obliterated place. Totally in contrast to what built environment is expected to achieve - to make life safer and more comfortable, productive, and enjoyable. From an ethical perspective we are witnessing a transformation that penalises those without a voice (e.g. children, elderly and disabled), rewards those with higher levels of material wealth (luxury spaces and products) and reorganises the built environment with no reference to any process of debate or consensus building with local residents.
The built environment is a powerful determinant of who gains and who loses in the distribution and redistribution of its positive and negative impacts, and has played a significant role in creating inequalities, inequities, social injustice, loss of community, loss of place identity, and a loss of spiritual dimension of life.
- Warwick Fox