I live in a very small town, but it's just big enough to build a few fairly large buildings, every so often. Never more than four stories these days (unless the University builds it) and, in general, the architectural goals seems to be as such: be inoffensive, blend in, build cheaply.
When I visit actual cities, with actual architecture—buildings old and new that make statements and can't help but to influence the space they take up and the space around them—I wonder: why is my hometown setting such a low bar? It's mainly a question I don't expect anyone to have an answer to, but it makes me a little sad. It feels like a missed opportunity. We could craft significant social and civic spaces that complement our mountain-side setting.
Space, done well, improves quality of life, but choosing what to do with space is a contentious process and the easiest thing to do is usually as little as possible to interrupt the status quo.