The urban community and natural resources: Opening address
The word "ecology" first appeared in the English language in 1873, and since then we have seen the industrial revolution, the population explosion, planless urbanisation and the colossal growth of sewage and garbage. In recent years there have been many calls for action to curb unplanned explansion, but many of the proposals have been negative—"Ban the bomb", "No billboards", "Save this lake or harbour". These are only aspects of one larger problem for which we have not yet found a really practical solution.
This first positive step must be to clarify our thinking, That is the main object of this symposium.
No matter what any of us think of it in thoery, most people live in towns and cities. this is often from necessity but also, very often, from choice. The average New Zealander's view of the countryside is, to use an old quotation, that it's "a nice place to visit but you wouldn't want to live there".
So we are left with the conflicting demand that most people want the countryside left unspoiled for their enjoyment, but they don't want to live there and help care for it.