Here is a renewed ‘manual,’ as intentional as it is flexible, structured into thematic essays on episodes that have been instrumental in shaping the city and urban landscapes.
In the foreword Rafael Moneo explains that “the editors’ selection of arguments and authors declines presenting a unitary, homogeneous view of what urbanism has been since it consolidated as a discipline, thereby insinuating, with the book’s actual structure, the thesis underlying it: how the culture of the plan has been giving way to other forms of urbanism.” It has been some time since Bohigas wrote on the ‘Death and Resurrection of Urban Planning’ or Koolhaas on ‘What Ever Happened to Urbanism?’ and after decades of prophecies about the death of the discipline, this publication begins with a question of Peter Hall that is a call for new strategies: how can we rediscover the lost art of urbanism?
The authors explain how the ‘plan culture’ of the second half of the 20th century has been replaced by other forms of urbanism, from the urban project to strategic or landscaping urbanism. It is in reference to the latter that the book describes the need for a paradigm shift enabling us to build better cities, cities that provide channels for connectivity, foster ecological and urban continuity, and reinforce the social dimension of urban operations. Environments for living, working, studying, and enjoying connected to productive spaces encouraging biodiversity, sustainable energy production, water management, food growing nearby, and leisure for citizens.