I wrote the other day on a possible way to understand beauty in nature. There’s also beauty in what man creates, and David A. Cowan writes about what Prince Charles and Alexander Stoddard have done to advance beauty along those lines in architecture and public art:

An unlikely leading figure in the effort for reviving beauty in urban spaces is Prince Charles, the future King of England. As long ago as 1984, Prince Charles delivered a provocative speech to the Royal Institute of British Architects which criticized the architectural styles of the post-war era. He elegantly described a prewar London where an…

“…affinity between buildings and the earth, in spite of the City’s immense size, was so close and organic that the houses looked almost as though they had grown out of the earth and had not been imposed upon it—grown moreover, in such a way that as few trees as possible were thrust out of the way.” …

Charles has not been merely content to voice his concerns. He has put his words into action through The Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. Its most significant achievement has been Poundbury, an urban extension of Dorchester in Dorset, England, where traditional urban styles have been adopted. …

Another important crusader for beauty in urban spaces is the Scottish sculptor Alexander Stoddart, who has focused on reviving the neoclassical tradition. His two most notable works are the bronze statues of Adam Smith (2008) and David Hume (1997) on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile…

Beauty is based upon an ethos of affirmation. It makes people’s sense of place and belonging tangible which is essential to the flourishing of individuals and communities. By putting beauty at the heart of urban planning and turning back the tide of vulgarity and ugliness, there is hope that we can create urban spaces which reaffirm our collective identity instead of rejecting our past.