The lure of the city : from slums to suburbs / edited by Austin Williams and Alastair Donald.

by Donald, AlastairLooking glass; Williams, AustinLooking glass.

Publisher: London : Pluto Press, 2011.Description: 207 pages ; 20 cm.ISBN: 0745331777; 9780745331775.Subject(s): Cities and townsLooking glass | Sociology, UrbanLooking glassNote: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Item type Home library Collection Class number Status Date due Barcode Item reservations
Long loan London College of Communication
Main collection
Printed books 307.76 WIL (Browse shelf (Opens below)) Available 54158478
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Cities, by their very nature, are a mass of contradictions. They can be at once visually stunning, culturally rich, exploitative and unforgiving. In The Lure of the City Austin Williams and Alastair Donald explore the potential of cities to meet the economic, social and political challenges of the current age.This book seeks to examine the dynamics of urban life, showing that new opportunities can be maximised and social advances realised in existing and emerging urban centres. The book explores both the planned and organic nature of urban developments and the impacts and aspirations of the people who live and work in them. It argues convincingly that the metropolitan mindset is essential to the struggle for human liberation.The short, accessibly written essays are guaranteed to spark debate across the media and academia about the place of cities and urban life in our ever-changing world.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


These essays provide knowledgeable, urbane commentaries by contemporary English academics in architecture and city history and practitioners in policy, planning, and education. The dual stimuli uniting these pieces are the challenges facing contemporary English cities and broader alternative visions of new metropolitan expansion in the Third World, especially contemporary China. In a style one associates in the US with The Atlantic or The New Yorker, these essays offer reflective, critical, and sometimes insightful discussion of broad topics such as slums and crowding, small-scale versus visionary planning, and historic preservation and ecology. They celebrate the energy of global urban life while criticizing limitations they see in British (Western) planning, governance, and development. This contrast, however, becomes more embittered in the final four essays that editor Williams either authors or coauthors, which prove more directly polemic. That is, these essays move beyond critical readings of themes like the memory industry, social control in public spaces, or eco-cities (and the problematic claims in such sites in China), and become attacks against contemporary planning schools in terms of inclusiveness, political correctness, and rooting in local pasts by contrast to a more free-market liberal approach. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. G. W. McDonogh Bryn Mawr College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Austin Williams is author of The Enemies of Progress (2008) and co-editor of The Future of Community (Pluto, 2009). He is the founder of ManTownHuman, director of the Future Cities Project and convenor of the infamous 'Bookshop Barnies' book discussions.

Alastair Donald is researching Urban Systems and Metropolitan Design at the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, University of Cambridge. He is co-editor of The Future of Community (Pluto, 2009).