To celebrate the launch of his new book, Richard Sennett, Professor of Sociology at LSE and one of the world’s leading thinkers about the urban environment draws on his intimate engagement with city life to form a bold and original vision for the future of cities.
In Building and Dwelling Sennett traces the often anguished relation between how cities are built and how people live in them, from ancient Athens to twenty-first-century Shanghai. He shows how Paris, Barcelona and New York City assumed their modern forms; rethinks the reputations of Jane Jacobs, Lewis Mumford and others; and takes us on a tour of emblematic contemporary locations, from the backstreets of Medellín, Colombia, to the Google headquarters in Manhattan. Through it all, he shows how the ‘closed city’ – segregated, regimented, and controlled – has spread from the global North to the exploding urban agglomerations of the global South. As an alternative, he argues for the ‘open city,’ where citizens actively hash out their differences and planners experiment with urban forms that make it easier for residents to cope. Rich with arguments that speak directly to our moment – a time when more humans live in urban spaces than ever before – Building and Dwelling draws on Sennett’s deep learning and intimate engagement with city life to form a bold and original vision for the future of cities.
Richard Sennett is Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and University Professor of the Humanities at New York University. His research interests include the relationship between urban design and urban society, urban family patterns, the urban welfare system, the history of cities and the changing nature of work.
Edwin Heathcote (@edwinheathcote) is an architect and designer. He has been the architecture and design critic of The Financial Times since 1999, and is the author of a number of books on architecture and design including The Meaning of Home. He has a monthly column on architecture and design in GQ Magazine, is on the editorial board of AD and ICON and is editor-in-chief of online design writing archive www.readingdesign.org.
Ricky Burdett (@BURDETTR) is Professor of Urban Studies at the LSE and Director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. He was curator of the Conflicts of an Urban Age exhibition at the 2016 International Architecture Biennale in Venice and contributed to the United Nations Habitat III conference on sustainable urbanisation in Quito. He was a member of the UK Government’s Independent Airports Commission from 2012 to 2015 and is involved in regeneration projects across Europe and the USA.
LSE Cities (@LSECities) is an international centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science that carries out research, graduate and executive education and outreach activities in London and abroad. Its mission is to study how people and cities interact in a rapidly urbanising world, focussing on how the design of cities impacts on society, culture and the environment.
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