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Idealism is a positive trait; utopianism has limits in the civic sphere because it is dogmatic and seeks perfection, instead of betterment. On the other hand, it has its uses. It's an imperfect impulse that pushes us to try new things, to see the future as something other than a consequence of our society's worst social and economic impulses.
That said, you cannot, I believe, create a better city by willfully not knowing what it is and where it has come from. A utopian flaw is to believe you can erase the white board of the past. One thing to remember about nearly all utopian communities is this: They don't last. A better path might be drawn on shared values, practical ideas, reasonable (affordable) costs, and be rooted in a sense of place and history. We should consider embracing an idealistic minimalism instead of a robust utopianism that often gets us nowhere.
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