Paradoxical Urbanism

Anti-Urban Currents in Modern Urbanism

Authors: Miles, Malcolm

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  • Offers concise yet incisive critical discussion of how cities reflect and shape philosophical ideas; and how underlying narratives condition the ways in which cities are built, rebuilt and experienced
  • Written accessibly for students in fields including urban studies, cultural and human geographies, sociology, and architecture, and professionals in city planning, development and culture
  • Comprises a variety of first-hand description, polemic and research, as well as some vivid and well-used literary and cultural examples
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Softcover $59.99
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About this book

Modernist urbanism seems progressive, even Utopian: design for a better world through a democratic and humane built environment. But two currents undermine this vision from within: an Arcadianism which turns to a rural idyll as retreat from change and the effects of industrialization; and an instrumentalism by which the humane vision becomes prescriptive and anti-democratic. Malcolm Miles argues that these two currents undermine modernism’s progressive vision. This book examines the roots of modernist urbanism in the seamless, self-contained systems of Cartesian space; and identifies contradictions within modernist urbanism in its instrumentalism and reliance on de-politicised professional expertise. Miles adroitly reviews the postmodern culture of industrial ruinscapes; and posits that if cities are to be places of proximity, diversity, mobility and agency, this will require a move from modernist instrumentalism to a creative and radically democratic co-production of the built environment.

About the authors

Malcolm Miles is a writer on modern and contemporary culture, theory and urbanism. His research spans the humanities and social sciences, drawing on twentieth-century critical theory and more recent reconsiderations of the radical Left. He is author of Cities and Literature (2019), Cities and Culture (2007), and Limits to Culture (2015). He retired as Professor of Cultural Theory in the Architecture School, University of Plymouth in 2016.

Reviews

Paradoxical Urbanism takes us far away, through competing versions of history, different cities read by different disciplines, takes us into many possible pasts and futures. By doing so, the book asks awkward questions about our cities now—and in the new, C-19 now and whatever might follow, these awkward, complex questions are more pressing than ever. Malcolm Miles sets out a persuasive and pressing case for an alternative and contemporary urban imaginary.” (Dr Stephen Walker, Head of Architecture, The University of Manchester)
“Malcolm Miles has a very nuanced way of writing. His books are never about convincing the reader to a particular argument, instead he prefers to look for cracks in existing discourses and build intricate hypotheses. This beautiful book distinctively discusses the anti-urban tendencies inherent in modern urban theories and practices. It is written for independent thinkers and is a great intellectual pleasure to read.” (Dr Krzysztof Nawratek, School of Architecture, The University of Sheffield)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-6341-6
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-6340-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-981-15-6343-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions
  • Usually ready to be dispatched within 3 to 5 business days, if in stock
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Paradoxical Urbanism
Book Subtitle
Anti-Urban Currents in Modern Urbanism
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
eBook ISBN
978-981-15-6341-6
DOI
10.1007/978-981-15-6341-6
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-15-6340-9
Softcover ISBN
978-981-15-6343-0
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 128
Number of Illustrations
13 b/w illustrations
Topics