An alternative history of capitalist urbanization through the lens of the commons
Characterized by shared, self-managed access to food, housing, and the basic conditions for a creative life, the commons are essential for communities to flourish and protect spaces of collective autonomy from capitalist encroachment. In a narrative spanning more than three centuries, Against the Commons provides a radical counterhistory of urban planning that explores how capitalism and spatial politics have evolved to address this challenge.
Highlighting episodes from preindustrial England, New York City and Chicago between the 1850s and the early 1900s, Weimar-era Berlin, and neoliberal Milan, Álvaro Sevilla-Buitrago shows how capitalist urbanization has eroded the egalitarian, convivial life-worlds around the commons. The book combines detailed archival research with provocative critical theory to illuminate past and ongoing struggles over land, shared resources, public space, neighborhoods, creativity, and spatial imaginaries.
Against the Commons underscores the ways urbanization shapes the social fabric of places and territories, lending particular awareness to the impact of planning and design initiatives on working-class communities and popular strata. Projecting history into the future, it outlines an alternative vision for a postcapitalist urban planning, one in which the structure of collective spaces is ultimately defined by the people who inhabit them.
The headlines about cities celebrating their resurgence—with empty nesters and Millennials alike investing in our urban areas, moving away from car dependence, and demanding walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods. But, in reality, these changes are taking place in a scattered and piecemeal fashion. While areas of a handful of cities are booming, most US metros continue to follow old patterns of central city decline and suburban sprawl. As demographic shifts change housing markets and climate change ushers in new ways of looking at settlement patterns, pressure for change in urban policy is growing. More and more policy makers are raising questions about the soundness of policies that squander our investment in urban housing, built environment, and infrastructure while continuing to support expansion of sprawling, auto-dependent development. Changing these policies is the central challenge facing US cities and metro regions, and those who manage them or plan their future.
In America’s Urban Future, urban experts Tomalty and Mallach examine US policy in the light of the Canadian experience, and use that experience as a starting point to generate specific policy recommendations. Their recommendations are designed to help the US further its urban revival, build more walkable, energy-efficient communities, and in particular, help land use adapt better to the needs of the aging population. Tomalty and Mallach show how Canada, a country similar to the US in many respects, has fostered healthier urban centers and more energy- and resource-efficient suburban growth. They call for a rethinking of US public policies across those areas and look closely at what may be achievable at federal, state, and local levels in light of both the constraints and opportunities inherent in today’s political systems and economic realities.
Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of the worldwide mass protest movements of 1968—against war, imperialism, racism, poverty, misogyny, and homophobia—the exciting anthology Architectures of Revolt explores the degree to which the real events of political revolt in the urban landscape in 1968 drove change in the attitudes and practices of filmmakers and architects alike.
In and around 1968, as activists and filmmakers took to the streets, commandeering public space, buildings, and media attention, they sought to re-make the urban landscape as an expression of utopian longing or as a dystopian critique of the established order. In Architectures of Revolt, the editor and contributors chronicle city-specific case studies from Paris, Berlin, Milan, and Chicago to New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Tokyo. The films discussed range from avant-garde and agitprop shorts to mainstream narrative feature films. All of them share a focus on the city and, often, particular streets and buildings as places of political contestation and sometimes violence, which the medium of cinema was uniquely equipped to capture.
Contributors include: Stephen Barber, Stanley Corkin, Jesse Lerner, Jon Lewis, Gaetana Marrone, Jennifer Stob, Andrew Webber, and the editor.
An accomplished architect and urbanist goes back to the roots of what makes cities attractive and livable, demonstrating how we can restore function and beauty to our urban spaces for the long term.Nearly everything we treasure in the world’s most beautiful cities was built over a century ago. Cities like Prague, Paris, and Lisbon draw millions of visitors from around the world because of their exquisite architecture, walkable neighborhoods, and human scale. Yet a great deal of the knowledge and practice behind successful city planning has been abandoned over the last hundred years—not because of traffic, population growth, or other practical hurdles, but because of ill-considered theories emerging from Modernism and reactions to it.The errors of urban design over the last century are too great not to question. The solutions being offered today—sustainability, walkability, smart and green technologies—hint at what has been lost and what may be regained, but they remain piecemeal and superficial. In The Art of Classic Planning, architect and planner Nir Haim Buras documents and extends the time-tested and holistic practices that held sway before the reign of Modernism. With hundreds of full-color illustrations and photographs that will captivate architects, planners, administrators, and developers, The Art of Classic Planning restores and revitalizes the foundations of urban planning.Inspired by venerable cities like Kyoto, Vienna, and Venice, and by the great successes of L’Enfant’s Washington, Haussmann’s Paris, and Burnham’s Chicago, Buras combines theory and a host of examples to arrive at clear guidelines for best practices in classic planning for today’s world. The Art of Classic Planning celebrates the enduring principles of urban design and invites us to return to building beautiful cities.
Revered as the birthplace of Western thought and democracy, Athens is much more than an open-air museum filled with crumbling monuments to ancient glory. Athens takes readers on a journey from the classical city-state to today’s contemporary capital, revealing a world-famous metropolis that has been resurrected and redefined time and again.Although the Acropolis remains the city’s anchor, Athens’ vibrant culture extends far beyond the Greek city’s antique boundaries. James H. S. McGregor points out how the cityscape preserves signs of the many actors who have crossed its historical stage. Alexander the Great incorporated Athens into his empire, as did the Romans. Byzantine Christians repurposed Greek temples, the Parthenon included, into churches. From the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, the city’s language changed from French to Spanish to Italian, as Crusaders and adventurers from different parts of Western Europe took turns sacking and administering the city. An Islamic Athens took root following the Ottoman conquest of 1456 and remained in place for nearly four hundred years, until Greek patriots finally won independence in a blood-drenched revolution.Since then, Athenians have endured many hardships, from Nazi occupation and military coups to famine and economic crisis. Yet, as McGregor shows, the history of Athens is closer to a heroic epic than a Greek tragedy. Richly supplemented with maps and illustrations, Athens paints a portrait of one of the world’s great cities, designed for travelers as well as armchair students of urban history.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press