books about Cities and towns and 3
start with I
Ideas of the City in Asian Settings
Edited by Henco Bekkering, Adèle Esposito, and Charles Goldblum
Amsterdam University Press, 2019
Library of Congress HT147.A2I34 2019 | Dewey Decimal 307.76095
At a time when intense dynamics of urban development of Asian cities puzzle and disorient, Ideas of the City in Asian Settings offers knowledge about the concepts, representations, and ideas that lie beneath the historical and contemporary production of cities in Asia, in order to deepen our understanding of the processes and meanings of urban development in the continent. The book sheds more light on the vast array of rules and innovations and aspirations that make cities into complex objects that are continuously ‘in the making’. Because Asian cities have experienced unprecedented dynamics of urban development during the last fifty years, they are considered as crucial places to question the perspectives that multiple actors project onto changing urban environments, as well as the evolution of the role of cities in globalisation.
Imagining The Modern City
University of Minnesota Press, 1999
Library of Congress HT153.D66 1999 | Dewey Decimal 307.76
An engaging look at the cultural legacy of the twentieth-century city and how it affects our ideas of community and democracy.
Paris, Berlin, London, Singapore, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles--these define "the city" in the world's consciousness. James Donald takes us on a psychic journey to these places that have inspired artists, writers, architects, and filmmakers for centuries. Considering the cultural and political implications of the "urban imaginary," Donald explores the pleasures and challenges of modern living, contending that the imagined city remains the best lens for a future of democratic community.
How can we think of Chicago without recalling the grittiness of The Asphalt Jungle's back alleys, or of London without the dank, foggy atmosphere so often evoked by Dickens? When de Certeau explores what it means to walk through a city, or Foucault dissects the elements of the modern attitude, what are they telling us about modernity itself? Through a discussion of these and many other questions about urban thought, Donald demonstrates how artists and social critics have seen the city as the locus not just of vanity, squalor, and injustice, but also of civilized society's highest aspirations.
Imagining the Modern City also looks at how artists have shaped cities through their creation of public spaces, sculpture, and architecture--art forms that help determine our ideas about our place in the urban environment. Planners and architects such as Otto Wagner, Le Corbusier, and Bernard Tschumi present us with real and possible cities, showing a way forward to alternative social futures, Donald asserts.
The modern city provides both a culturally resonant imagined space and a physical place for the everyday life of its residents. Imagining the Modern City is a rich and dazzling exploration of the ways cities stir and shape our consciousness.
"In Imagining the Modern City, Donald, a British professor of communications and cultural studies based in Australia, seeks to explain the uneasy interaction between city and citizen by drawing together literary, cinematic, architectural, and sociological evocations of the metropolis from the past two centuries. He begins with the stratified geography of Dickens' London, in which neighborhood determined social position, then moves on to Baudelaire's changing Paris, the German-Jewish sociologist Georg Simmel's imperial Berlin, the seedy Chicago of The Asphalt Jungle, Joyce's Dublin, and finally, the hallucinatory visions of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Tim Burton's Gotham City, and modern-day Singapore. Donald believes that all of these cities are not so much physical places as constructs of media and mind." Liesl Schillinger in Metropolis
"Donald's fluid writing weaves familiar scholarly territory into a warm and inviting narrative that reflects his own passion for the city. A most important contribution, the sort that ends in a question mark rather than a period." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space
"Cities are back in fashion, at least in theory. Imagining the Modern City juxtaposes imagination an politics, the city and modernity. The panache of Donald's writing and his integration of biography and fiction, visual images and critical reflection on the vast array of popular cultural versions of the modern city make Imagining the Modern City both page turning and illuminating. A quirky and personable style combined with a judicious use of photos, drawings, and films adds interest and critical insight." Thesis Eleven
"A stimulating and engaging meditation on the city and the urban imaginary that explores both the pleasures and the challenges of modern living. Donald uses the culture of cities to open up important questions about modernity and, particularly, modern political culture." Kevin Robins
"The city tugs at the imagination and the imagination tugs the city. In an exemplary fashion, Donald shows the truth of this statement. An acute and often surprising book that shows real sympathy for the city, warts and all." Nigel Thrift
"To dare to rewrite the political map of the city as a poetic one, as Donald does, is to insist that this other, imaginative side of the metropolis is as important to how we live the city, walk its streets and dream our selves, as are the political expectancies we think it embodies."
James Donald is professor of communications and cultural studies at Curtin University of Technology in Perth, Australia.
In the Watches of the Night: Life in the Nocturnal City, 1820-1930
Peter C. Baldwin
University of Chicago Press, 2011
Library of Congress HT123.B245 2012 | Dewey Decimal 306.76097309034
Before skyscrapers and streetlights glowed at all hours, American cities fell into inky blackness with each setting of the sun. But over the course of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, new technologies began to light up streets, sidewalks, buildings, and public spaces. Peter C. Baldwin’s evocative book depicts the changing experience of the urban night over this period, visiting a host of actors—scavengers, newsboys, and mashers alike—in the nocturnal city.
Baldwin examines work, crime, transportation, and leisure as he moves through the gaslight era, exploring the spread of modern police forces and the emergence of late-night entertainment, to the era of electricity, when social campaigns sought to remove women and children from public areas at night. While many people celebrated the transition from darkness to light as the arrival of twenty-four hours of daytime, Baldwin shows that certain social patterns remained, including the danger of street crime and the skewed gender profile of night work. Sweeping us from concert halls and brothels to streetcars and industrial forges, In the Watches of the Night is an illuminating study of a vital era in American urban history.