As the world's supply of fossil fuels grows scarce we have to make more efficient choices about how we construct our built environment — and this includes rediscovering traditional settlement patterns, says Hank Dittmar.
"The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment believes in the power of buildings and places to profoundly affect the lives of those who use them daily. Any architect would agree, but the foundation has faced controversy for arguing that some of the best-loved environments are those that follow traditional and well-understood patterns.
"These traditional methods, among other things, focus on natural and traditional materials; on proportioning systems that don't jar on the eye, creating attractive and functional public and private spaces; building harmonious and well-proportioned streetscapes, and considering the pedestrian experience at street level.
"Many of these tenets have led the Prince's Foundation to be branded reactionary and backward looking."