IS IPSWICH one of the world's ugliest cities?
According to renowned British philosopher Alain de Botton, it is - a place of "chaotic ugliness", in his words.
Or is he simply confused?
In a recent blog on his website The Philosophers' Mail, Mr de Botton, a writer and television presenter, singled out Brisbane for its ugliness.
But he used a photograph of Ipswich's CBD to illustrate just how ugly Brisbane was.
Mr de Botton said planning restrictions in Brisbane contributed to its ugliness, yet no one voiced it because we were led to believe taste was subjective.
He said cities like Paris, Siena in Italy and Bath in England were all renowned for their beauty because they were architecturally planned.
But he said Brisbane's planners had no interest in making the city attractive, adding they got away with "some truly terrible construction projects".
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale brushed off Mr de Botton's remarks and said the philosopher had "no idea what he was talking about".
"The photo of Ipswich which he used on his blog was taken soon after the floods," he said.
"I'm sure you can find beautiful - and unattractive - shots to take in any city in the world.
"Before people go off writing stuff like this, they need to realise that these cities are people's homes and beauty is in the eye of the beholder."
After coming under intense media scrutiny about his post, Mr de Botton has since apologised and backed away from his comments.
Cr Pisasale emphasised that both Ipswich and Brisbane councils had put a great deal of work into making each city a great place to live.
"If you go travelling to some other parts of the world, I can tell you, you'll come back to Ipswich and kiss the ground you were born on," he said.