… the case I have been making for beauty as public good rests on the fact that it does not require us to get into controversial disagreements about matters of fine aesthetic judgement. So, it may indeed be true that “beautiful” is not the only positive aesthetic judgement, but when we are concerned with public space, we are not primarily concerned with making those other kinds of judgements. What we’re interested in is simply creating or preserving a shared space that enhances the lives of people who live in it. I might think a building is utterly wonderful but concede that it will impact on a space in ways which will jar for most. Likewise, I may find another development uninteresting and unoriginal, but concede that its very anonymity is what a space needs to maintain its feel and identity. And I may accept that something is beautiful, in the sense that people generally like that kind of thing, while not particularly liking it myself. What matters most in the public sphere is not my own individual preference.
Architecture and our duty to beauty | The Independent