"A development which spoils ten square miles of countryside will be the work of a few people neither particularly sinful nor malevolent. They may be called Derek or Malcolm, Hubert or Shigeru, they may love golf and animals, and yet, in a few weeks, they can put in motion plans which will substantially ruin a landscape for 300 years or more.
The same kind of banal thinking which in literature produces nothing worse than incoherent books and tedious plays can, when applied to architecture, leave wounds which will be visible from outerspace. Bad architecture is writ large.
We owe it to the fields that our houses will not be the inferiors of the of the virgin land they have replaced. We owe it to the worms and the trees that the buildings we cover them with will stand as promises of the highest and most intelligent kinds of happiness." by Alain de Botton in The Architecture of Happiness
I just finished this book on the train this morning and found these two passages especially noteworthy. They bring to mind Will's and my decision to buy another house here in the walkable, sustainable city rather than building something on his mother's property which would force us to drive a lot more than we want to, not to mention the cost of hiring a really good architect to help us honor the land.