How to Read Towns & Cities is a pocket-sized primer to understanding the forces that have shaped the world's cities. It takes a practical, highly visual approach - showing us how to read the stories embedded in the fabric of the neighbourhoods, towns, and cities in which we live today.
The fortunes of towns and cities rise and fall along with the fate of the civilisations to which they belong. Some are lost entirely, now no more than ruins; others have thrived as urban centres for millennia; and all contain vital clues embedded in their streets and skylines which reveal why their inhabitants grouped together, and tell of their unique social, political and cultural histories.
Packed with plans, maps, and drawings, this book takes the reader on an international journey of discovery to explore the history of cities from our earliest urban origins to the contemporary world city - from Babylon to Beijing, London to Paris, and from the skyscrapers of New York to the streets of their own home town.
A must-read for anyone interested in history, cities, and travel, this fascinating book turns the reader into urban detective to see how our towns and cities grew the way they are.
Jonathan Glancey is an architectural critic, presenter and the author of several architecture and design titles. He was architecture and design editor at The Guardian, from 1997 to 2012 and previously held the same post at The Independent. He is an honorary fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, RIBA.
PART ONE: THE GRAMMAR OF URBAN ARCHITECTURE Elements of the City PART TWO: CITY TYPES & STYLES First Cities Classical Cities China & the Far East The Americas Muslim Era Cities Medieval Towns The Baroque City Italian Hill Towns Cities of God Tidal Cities Hanseatic Towns Industrial Towns Politics & Power Ideal Towns Ideal Cities Organic Growth Shanty Towns Garrison Towns Island Towns & Cities Cities of Towers Underground Cities Megalopolis New Towns Green Towns Abandoned Cities Future Cities Glossary Resources Index