What do our cities say about us? What have we made them, and how ought they to be? How has our vision of the city evolved over time, and can we really influence change and effect improvements? In this vibrant cultural history of the city, Joseph Rykwert explores the great cities of the modern world, examining their fabric and assessing how successfully they have met the needs of their inhabitants. From the teeming city centres of the industrial revolution to the exclusive gated suburbs of the 21st century, from the Parisian boulevards of Haussmann to the 'green' architecture of Emilio Ambasz, Rykwert charts the complex story of the growth of the city, setting architectural development firmly within a political, economic, social, and cultural context. Drawing on examples from Brasilia to Islamabad, Shanghai to Houston, Rykwert presents a fascinating analysis of urban growth, arguing forcefully that as voters and consumers we need to consider the economic, social, and cultural implications of developments and demonstrate our resistance to them if necessary.
The arguments over the future of the Ground Zero site in Manhattan encapsulate the conflicting demands of civic pride and public utility set against private gain that vie for dominance in the 21st century, and exemplify the choices that, as citizens, we must all eventually make.
`Review from previous edition A wealth of incidental observations and reflections by a mature scholar'
The Washington Post Book World
`A great historian ... one of the profession's treasures and a writer of sobriety and dash'
`[Rykwert] writes elegantly and well, and he knows his subject ... the narrative truly swings along, from city to city, continent to continent, with great verve and pace'
The Wall Street Journal
`Far-ranging, idiosyncratic, discursive'
The New York Review of Books
`Rykwert is a gloriously erudite, ingeniously speculative historian and critic of architecture'
`This is a necessary book. At a time when the future of cities is being discussed worldwide, Joseph Rykwert offers us an overview of the subject from its tentative beginnings in the Middle East some 10,000 years ago'
`rich in detail, entertaining to read and provocative in its conclusions'
Christopher Hirst, Independent
`coming as it does with a track-record of scholarly distinction, it reads as a word from the wise, as a reminder of some fundamental concerns, of which we as a society should never lose sight'
Professor Andrew Ballantyne, University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
`an informed meditation on the future'
The Art Newspaper
Finding Some Place in All the Space
1: How We Got There
2: First Aid
3: House and Home
4: Style, Type, and Urban Fabric
5: Flight from the City: Lived Space and Virtual Space
6: The Suburbs and the New Capitals
7: The Heart of the City and the Capital of a Globe
8: For the New Millennium?