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.
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).
Introduction: The Paradoxical City Alastair Donald 1. The Dynamic City: Citizens Make Cities Alan Hudson 2. The Emerging City: Africa's Metropolitan Mindset Alastair Donald 3. The Crowded City: People on the Move Patrick Hayes 4. The Planned City: Make No Little Plans Michael Owens 5. The Historic City: False Urban Memory Syndrome Steve Nash and Austin Williams 6. The Sanitised City: If You've Done Nothing Wrong... Tony Pierce and Austin Williams 7. The Eco-City: Utopia, Then and Now Austin Williams 8. The Visionary City: Things Will Endure Less than Us Austin Williams and Karl Sharro Conclusion: The Civilised City Austin Williams