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How can we understand the infinite variety of cities? Darran Anderson seems to exhaust all possibilities in this work of creative nonfiction. Drawing inspiration from Marco Polo and Italo Calvino, Anderson shows that we have much to learn about ourselves by looking not only at the cities we have built, but also at the cities we have imagined. Anderson draws on literature (Gustav Meyrink, Franz Kafka, Jaroslav Hasek, and James Joyce), but he also looks at architectural writings and works by the likes of Bruno Taut and Walter Gropius, Medieval travel memoirs from the Middle East, mid-twentieth-century comic books, Star Trek, mythical lands such as Cockaigne, and the works of Claude Debussy. Anderson sees the visionary architecture dreamed up by architects, artists, philosophers, writers, and citizens as wedded to the egalitarian sense that cities are for everyone. He proves that we must not be locked into the structures that exclude ordinary citizens--that cities evolve and that we can have input. As he says: "If a city can be imagined into being, it can be re-imagined as well.”
Located at the edge of a continent and at the corresponding edge of national public consciousness, Vancouver has developed in unique and unanticipated ways. It is now emerging as an experiment in contemporary city-making, with international interest in Vancouver as a model of post-industrial urbanism increasing exponentially. Lance Berelowitz explores the links between the city's seductive natural setting, its turbulent political history and changing civic values, and its planning and design culture. He also makes the startling case that Vancouver is to Canada's imagination what Los Angeles is to the American -- a mythologized place of endless possibilities, while being grounded in an altogether more limited set of socio-economic and environmental limitations. Dream City is richly illustrated with both historical and contemporary photographs of many significant buildings and public spaces, as well as specially commissioned maps that reveal the underlying patterns of growth and change of Canada's youngest metropolis.
Tracing two centuries of rise, fall, and rebirth in the heart of downtown Detroit. Downtown Detroit is in the midst of an astonishing rebirth. Its sidewalks have become a dreamland for an aspiring creative class, filled with shoppers, office workers, and restaurant-goers. Cranes dot the skyline, replacing the wrecking balls seen there only a few years ago. But venture a few blocks in any direction and this liveliness gives way to urban blight, a nightmare cityscape of crumbling concrete, barbed wire, and debris. In Dream City, urban designer Conrad Kickert examines the paradoxes of Detroit's landscape of extremes, arguing that the current reinvention of downtown is the expression of two centuries of Detroiters' conflicting hopes and dreams. Kickert demonstrates the materialization of these dreams with a series of detailed original morphological maps that trace downtown's rise, fall, and rebirth. Kickert writes that downtown Detroit has always been different from other neighborhoods; it grew faster than other parts of the city, and it declined differently, forced to reinvent itself again and again. Downtown has been in constant battle with its own offspring—the automobile and the suburbs the automobile enabled—and modernized itself though parking attrition and land consolidation. Dream City is populated by a varied cast of downtown power players, from a 1920s parking lot baron to the pizza tycoon family and mortgage billionaire who control downtown's fate today. Even the most renowned planners and designers have consistently yielded to those with power, land, and finances to shape downtown. Kickert thus finds rhyme and rhythm in downtown's contemporary cacophony. Kickert argues that Detroit's case is extreme but not unique; many other American cities have seen a similar decline—and many others may see a similar revitalization.
"Against a backdrop of dizzying urbanization, French utopian thinkers of the nineteenth century set out to explore the transformative possibilities of the modern metropolis. Linking literary analyses with diverse strands of cultural and intellectual history, this study considers how the utopian vision of the city in turn came to impinge on prose writing by poets: in Saint-Simonian literature, and in texts by Theophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire and Arthur Rimbaud. At points steeped in the hyperbolic rhetoric of utopian projects, these texts nonetheless wear away at the internal coherence of that rhetoric and the idealizing meanings it supports. What emerges from Greg Kerr's analysis is a hitherto unfamiliar dimension of these writings, revealing the alertness of some of the greatest exponents of nineteenth-century poetry to the dynamic possibilities of utopian writing, and suggesting new ways to understand the evolution of poetic discourse across the century. Greg Kerr is Lecturer in French at the University of Lancaster."
WINNER OF THE 2022 WRITERS' TRUST BALSILLIE PRIZE FOR PUBLIC POLICY WINNER OF FOR THE PATTIS FAMILY FOUNDATION GLOBAL CITIES BOOK AWARD Is the ‘smart city’ the utopia we’ve been waiting for? The promise of the so-called smart city has been at the forefront of urban planning and development since the early 2010s, and the tech industry that supplies smart city software and hardware is now worth hundreds of billions a year. But the ideas and approaches underpinning smart city tech raise tough and important questions about the future of urban communities, surveillance, automation, and public participation. The smart city era, moreover, belongs firmly in a longer historical narrative about cities — one defined by utopian ideologies, architectural visions, and technological fantasies. Smart streetlights, water and air quality tracking, autonomous vehicles: with examples from all over the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Portland, and Chicago, Dream States unpacks the world of smart city tech, but also situates this important shift in city-building into a broader story about why we still dream about perfect places. "John Lorinc’s incisive analysis in Dream States reminds us that the search for urban utopia is not new. Throughout the book, Lorinc underscores the fact that a gamut of urban innovations – from smart city megaprojects to e-government to pandemic preparedness tools – only provide promise when scrutinized together with the political, economic, social, and physical complexities of urban life." – Shauna Brail, University of Toronto "Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology, and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias takes us on a fascinating journey across world cities to show how technology has shaped them in the past and how smart city technology will reshape them in the future. This book is essential reading for policy makers, researchers, and practitioners interested in understanding the opportunities and challenges of smart city technology and what it means for city building." – Enid Slack, University of Toronto School of Cities "“Utopia may be the oldest grift in the city-building business, but Dream States shows that technology is a timeless tool for turning the most ordinary of urban dreams – clean air and water, safe streets, and decent homes – into reality. As digital dilettantes try to sell us on a software overhaul, John Lorinc provides us an indispensable and flawless guide to the must-haves and never-agains of the smart city.” – Anthony Townsend, Urbanist in Residence, Cornell Tech, author of Smart Cities
Vivid stories from a Canadian literary icon, who shares a life spread across continents and immersed in books. It's the life that many young women dream of: education in some of Europe's most beautiful cities before becoming a novelist, essayist, translator and literary curator. But the start of Linda Leith's journey is anything but idyllic. The daughter of a glamorous mother and a charming left-wing doctor, she is never told of her father's psychiatric breakdown or his subsequent shock therapy for what was then called manic depression. As this secret festers, Leith's father uproots the family to various European cities as he reinvents himself as a corporate executive, eventually moving across the Atlantic to Montreal. It's there, in her first year of university, that Leith is inspired by Madame de Staël: a writer and salonnière, banished from Paris by Napoleon himself. With none of Staël's advantages--no wealth, no social status, no château on Lake Geneva--Leith can scarcely imagine a salon, but she is drawn to Paris, and dreams of becoming a writer. This dream fuels her education in London, her marriage and writing in Budapest, and--finally--her journey back to Montreal where she meets a community of writers and readers who she works with to transform the city's literary scene. As Leith publishes, translates, and curates, she also comes to terms with her troubled father and the secrets of her childhood. A luscious read, this book will rivet readers of Jill Ker Conway's The Road from Coorain and Tara Westover's Educated , or anyone who has dreamed of building a cultural life.
Dream of the Walled City by Lisa Huang Fleischman Pdf
Marking the debut of a stunning new literary talent, Lisa Huang Fleischman's extraordinary saga -- inspired by her grandmother's life as an early feminist, political activist, and friend of Mao Zedong -- is a masterpiece about one clever and resourceful woman, growing up amidst the turmoil of twentieth-century China. Born in 1890, the privileged and sheltered daughter of a high-ranking imperial official, Jade Virtue spends her childhood enclosed by the towering walls of her family's sprawling mansion, never glimpsing the desperate struggle of China's ancient society, as the old ways are challenged and the twentieth century -- fast, fearsome, and tumultuous -- rushes in. But when her father mysteriously dies, young Jade Virtue is suddenly thrust into poverty, and experiences firsthand a traditional culture falling apart under the onslaught of growing rebellion against the Emperor, rapid social changes, and the mounting aggression of Japan and the West. Fleischman has rendered a richly textured, panoramic vision of Chinese life in the perilous years between the end of the empire and the Communist triumph of 1949, charting Jade Virtue's arranged first marriage to the corrupt opium addict Wang Mang, who harbors a terrible secret in his family's past; her awakening independence and ambivalent politics; her struggles with motherhood; and her fascinating acquaintance with a gifted, idealistic, fiercely ambitious young man named Mao Zedong. But the most important choices of her life are shaped by her conflicting loyalties, her intense lifelong friendship with Jinyu, a fiery woman revolutionary, and to Guai, a government official and sworn enemy of the Communists, with whom she finally discovers true and redemptive love. Exquisitely nuanced and lyrical yet marked with a driving power, Dream of the Walled City is an enthralling novel of hard-won personal independence set against the vivid backdrop of a rapidly changing world. From the final days of the last dynasty through the savage Japanese invasion during World War II to the formidable red dawn of the Communist triumph; from the backward rural province of Hunan to exile on the tropical shores of Taiwan; and from the binding chains of predetermined fate to the exhilarating liberation of a human spirit, this is a remarkable odyssey you will never forget.
Charles Montgomery’s Happy City will revolutionize the way we think about urban life. After decades of unchecked sprawl, more people than ever are moving back to the city. Dense urban living has been prescribed as a panacea for the environmental and resource crises of our time. But is it better or worse for our happiness? Are subways, sidewalks and condo towers an improvement on the car-dependence of sprawl? The award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery finds answers to such questions at the intersection between urban design and the emerging science of happiness, during an exhilarating journey through some of the world’s most dynamic cities. He meets the visionary mayor who introduced a “sexy” bus to ease status anxiety in Bogotá; the architect who brought the lessons of medieval Tuscan hill towns to modern-day New York City; the activist who turned Paris’s urban freeways into beaches; and an army of American suburbanites who have hacked the design of their own streets and neighborhoods. Rich with new insights from psychology, neuroscience and Montgomery’s own urban experiments, Happy City reveals how our cities can shape our thoughts as well as our behavior. The message is as surprising as it is hopeful: by retrofitting cities and our own lives for happiness, we can tackle the urgent challenges of our age. The happy city can save the world--and all of us can help build it.
A sweeping epic of two families—one Dutch, one English—from the time when New Amsterdam was a raw and rowdy settlement, to the triumph of the Revolution, when New York became a new nation’s city of dreams. In 1661, Lucas Turner, a barber surgeon, and his sister, Sally, an apothecary, stagger off a small wooden ship after eleven weeks at sea. Bound to each other by blood and necessity, they aim to make a fresh start in the rough and rowdy Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam; but soon lust, betrayal, and murder will make them mortal enemies. In their struggle to survive in the New World, Lucas and Sally make choices that will burden their descendants with a legacy of secrets and retribution, and create a heritage that sets cousin against cousin, physician against surgeon, and, ultimately, patriot against Tory. In what will be the greatest city in the New World, the fortunes of these two families are inextricably entwined by blood and fire in an unforgettable American saga of pride and ambition, love and hate, and the becoming of the dream that is New York City.
Joachim Schlor brings the reader closer to this most talked about city. Having interviewed numerous inhabitants and gathered information from memoirs, travel accounts and newspapers, the present day , as a centre of immigration containing reminders of every immigrants mother country, and as a catalyst between East and West.
A beautiful collection of the legendary thinker’s short stories The Storyteller gathers for the first time the fiction of the legendary critic and philosopher Walter Benjamin, best known for his groundbreaking studies of culture and literature, including Illuminations, One-Way Street and The Arcades Project. His stories revel in the erotic tensions of city life, cross the threshold between rational and hallucinatory realms, celebrate the importance of games, and delve into the peculiar relationship between gambling and fortune-telling, and explore the themes that defined Benjamin. The novellas, fables, histories, aphorisms, parables and riddles in this collection are brought to life by the playful imagery of the modernist artist and Bauhaus figure Paul Klee.
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice The fascinating, forgotten story of the 1970s attempt to build a city dedicated to racial equality in the heart of “Klan Country” In 1969, with America’s cities in turmoil and racial tensions high, civil rights leader Floyd McKissick announced an audacious plan: he would build a new city in rural North Carolina, open to all but intended primarily to benefit Black people. Named Soul City, the community secured funding from the Nixon administration, planning help from Harvard and the University of North Carolina, and endorsements from the New York Times and the Today show. Before long, the brand-new settlement – built on a former slave plantation – had roads, houses, a health care center, and an industrial plant. By the year 2000, projections said, Soul City would have fifty thousand residents. But the utopian vision was not to be. The race-baiting Jesse Helms, newly elected as senator from North Carolina, swore to stop government spending on the project. Meanwhile, the liberal Raleigh News & Observer mistakenly claimed fraud and corruption in the construction effort. Battered from the left and the right, Soul City was shut down after just a decade. Today, it is a ghost town – and its industrial plant, erected to promote Black economic freedom, has been converted into a prison. In a gripping, poignant narrative, acclaimed author Thomas Healy resurrects this forgotten saga of race, capitalism, and the struggle for equality. Was it an impossible dream from the beginning? Or a brilliant idea thwarted by prejudice and ignorance? And how might America be different today if Soul City had been allowed to succeed?
A vivid history of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium and how it helped transform Los Angeles When Walter O’Malley moved his Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1957 with plans to construct a new ballpark, he ignited a bitter half-decade dispute over the future of a rapidly changing city. For the first time, City of Dreams tells the full story of the controversial building of Dodger Stadium and how it helped create modern Los Angeles. In a vivid narrative, Jerald Podair tells how the city was convulsed over whether, where, and how to build the stadium. Eventually, it was built on publicly owned land from which the city had uprooted a Mexican American community, raising questions about the relationship between private profit and “public purpose.” Indeed, the battle over Dodger Stadium crystallized issues with profound implications for all American cities. Filled with colorful stories, City of Dreams will fascinate anyone who is interested in the history of the Dodgers, baseball, Los Angeles, and the modern American city.