By Daniel Brook
One of The Washington Post's "Favorite Books of 2013"
A pioneering exploration of 4 towns the place East meets West and prior turns into destiny: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.
each month, 5 million humans movement from the earlier to the longer term. Pouring into developing-world “instant cities” like Dubai and Shenzhen, those city newbies confront a latest international cobbled jointly from fragments of a West they've got by no means obvious. Do those fantastical boomtowns, the place blueprints spring to existence in a single day on virgin land, symbolize the dawning of a courageous new global? Or is their vaunted newness a mirage?
In a charming mixture of historical past and reportage, Daniel Brook travels to a sequence of significant metropolitan hubs that have been as soon as themselves rapid cities— St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Mumbai—to watch their “dress rehearsals for the twenty-first century.” realizing today’s rising international order, he argues, calls for comprehending the West’s profound and conflicted impact on developing-world towns over the centuries.
In 1703, Tsar Peter the nice for my part oversaw the development of a brand new Russian capital, a “window at the West” rigorously modeled on Amsterdam, that he believed may wrench Russia into the trendy international. within the 19th century, Shanghai turned the fastest-growing urban in the world because it mushroomed into an English-speaking, Western-looking city that simply occurred to be within the a ways East. in the meantime, Bombay, the cosmopolitan hub of the British Raj, morphed right into a tropical London by the hands of its pith-helmeted imperialists.
Juxtaposing the tales of the architects and authoritarians, the artists and revolutionaries who seized the reins to rework each one of those precociously glossy locations into avatars of the worldwide destiny, Brook demonstrates that the force for modernization used to be at the start conflated with wholesale Westernization. He exhibits, too, the ambiguous legacy of that emulation—the start (and rebirth) of chinese language capitalism in Shanghai, the origins of Bollywood in Bombay’s American-style motion picture palaces, the flamable mixture of progressive tradition and politics that rocked the Russian capital—and the way it can be transcended today.
A interesting, vibrant glance from the previous out towards the horizon, A historical past of destiny Cities is either a very important reminder of globalization’s lengthy march and an inspiring investigate the probabilities of our Asian Century.
12 illustrations; four maps
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Additional info for A History of Future Cities
If they were eradicated where would the working poor live? How could the city accommodate variations in the influx of migrant workers? And how could rural migrants become assimilated into the operations of the city? → Ms. Chi, landlady of Mao era dormitory houses ↘ Interviews were conducted with migrant workers such as this shop owner Spaces are present within urban villages that do not exist in the more formalized, planned city that surrounds them. The density and proximity to activities within a walkable, almost pedestrianized neighborhood simply do not occur in the homogeneity of Shenzhen’s planned city that encapsulates the villages.
Instead of a neutral concrete slab, each bridge provides an additional social function and creates one small-scale public space in the village. Against the scale of an increasingly mega-infrastructure, our reaction is to propose interventions at a micro-scale. 64 Lingzidi Village ↙ Bridge designs for three different site conditions ↓ Model of Lingzidi bridge ↑ Construction of the Lingzidi bridge underneath an elevated highway ↗ Discussion with villagers about the bridge design Recently constructed in 2013, the bridge design for Lingzidi Village is situated directly underneath a new railway connection between Xian to Nanjing.
International Herald Tribune. 6 February 2009 11 Tam, Fiona. “Laid-off Migrants Doomed to Suffer in Crisis,” South China Morning Post. 6 January 2009 ↑ Yuyuan factory town, 2013 surrounding villages (Helu, Yuanwuwei, Jitigang, Bei’an) and each villager has been receiving approximately 400 yuan per person per month since 1993. A gated factory complex, Yuyuan is organized to be self-reliant and autonomous from the surrounding villages, complete with a health center, sports fields, and shops and restaurants.
A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook