Throughout history architects and planners have dreamed of “better” and different cities—more controllable, more defensible, more efficient, more monumental, more organic, taller, denser, sparser or greener. With every plan, radical visions were proposed, ones that embodied not only the desires but also, and more often, the fears and anxieties of their time. Today, with the failure of the suburban experiment and the looming end-of-the world predictions—from global warming and waste to post-peak oil energy crises and uncontrolled world urbanization—architects and urbanists find themselves once more at a crossroad, fertile for visionary thinking.
49 Cities is a call to re-engage cities as the site of radical thinking and experimentation, moving beyond “green building” toward an embrace of ideas, scale, vision and common sense combined with delirious imagination in the pursuit of empowering questioning and re-invention.
In addition to enhanced, high-quality reproductions and illustrations, this cloth-bound third edition includes includes an interview between Amale Andraos, Dan Wood, Joseph Grima, and Archigram’s Michael Webb, an essay on The Death and Life of Urban Planning by Sam Jacob (founder of FAT Architecture) and new interviews with culture-defining architects Chip Lord (Ant Farm) and Yona Friedman.