Sir: Your leading article (20 October) praised green spaces in cities. It identified why urban parks, green squares and trees are so vital and much-loved components of successful cities. Shakespeare knew this when he gave Mark Anthony this final peroration to his oration over Caesar's body:
Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever, - common pleasures,
To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Caesar] when comes such another?'
Walks rather than carriageways, arbours and orchards rather than playing fields or buildings, are cited as a source of universal outdoor pleasure and recreation to fire the imagination. Yet it is all too easy to misunderstand urban landscapes as background spaces awaiting some other use.
The most successful are works of art made with living materials, precious for their own sakes, precious to all.
Filkins Lechlade, Gloucestershire
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