The ethics of metropolitan growth: A framework

Philosophy and Geography 7 (2):201 – 218 (2004)
Although debates about the shape and future of the built environment are usually cast in economic and political terms, they also have an irreducible ethical component that stands in need of careful examination. This paper is the report of an exploratory study in descriptive ethics carried out in Atlanta, Georgia. Archival sources and semi-structured interviews provide the basis for identifying and sorting the diverse value judgments and value conflicts that come into play in a rapidly growing metropolitan area. The goal of the project is to expand and refine a draft framework for grappling with the ethical complexity of the situations from which individuals and communities make important decisions about their surroundings. The success of the framework is to be measured by its usefulness in informing the judgment of professionals and citizens, and in facilitating a robust normative debate about the built environment.
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