With a new introduction for the paperback.London is a supreme achievement of civilization. It offers fulfilments of body and soul, encourages discovery and invention. It is a place of freedom, multiplicity and co-existence. It is a Liberal city, which means it stands for values now in peril. London has also become its own worst enemy, testing to destruction the idea that the free market alone can build a city, a fantastical wealth machine that denies too many of its citizens a decent home or living. In this thought-provoking, fearless, funny and subversive book, Rowan Moore shows how London's strength depends on the creative and mutual interplay of three forces: people, business and state. To find responses to the challenges of the twenty-first century, London must rediscover its genius for popular action and bold public intervention. The global city above all others, London is the best place to understand the way the world's cities are changing. It could also be, in the shape of a living, churning city of more than eight million people, the most powerful counter-argument to the extremist politics of the present.
Rowan Moore is the architecture critic for the Observer and previously for the Evening Standard. He is also a trained architect, and between 2002 and 2008 was the Director of the Architecture Foundation. He is the author of one previous book, Why We Build, which Sir Paul Smith described as 'fantastic'.