Climax City

Book description

Book Award Finalist for Urban Design Group Awards 2020

Human settlements are the result of a mix of self-organisation and planning. Planners are fighting a losing battle to impose order on chaotic systems. Connections between the process of urban growth and the fields of complexity theory are of increasing importance to planners and urbanists alike; the idea that cities are emergent structures created not by design but from the interplay of relatively simple rules and forces over time. From the the small Tuscan hill town to the megacities of Asia: the struggle between the planned and the unplanned is universal.

Based on years of international research, Climax City is a critical exploration of the growth of cities and masterplanning. Challenging the idea that the city can be entirely planned on paper, this book implores you to work with chaos when planning cities. Beautifully illustrated with striking hand-drawn plans of global cities, this is a vital and accessible contribution to urban theory and planning. It’s the perfect title for practitioners and academics across planning and urban design looking to make sense out of chaos.

Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. About the Authors
  6. Preface Obsessive Cartography
  7. Introduction
  8. Part 1 THE SPONTANEOUS CITY
    1. Chapter 1 Cities without Plans
      1. What Slime Mould Can Tell Us about City Growth
      2. You Can’t Designate a Gay Village
      3. Four Phase Transitions
      4. Tokyo: The Efficient Yet Unplanned City
    2. Chapter 2 The Natural Town
      1. The Artificial Sand Dune
      2. Alexander’s Timeless Way of Building
      3. The Unplanned Indian Town
      4. Sanganer: From Shrine to Industrial Suburb
    3. Chapter 3 The Spontaneous Slum
      1. A Rate of Urbanisation Never Before Seen in the World
      2. Barrios, Shanty Towns, Kacchi Basti, Favelas and Slums
      3. The Slums of Guwahati
  9. Part 2 THE DESIGNED CITY
    1. Chapter 4 The Subtle Art of Masterplanning
      1. The Scottish System of Feuing
      2. Plot-based Development
      3. New Anzac-on-Sea to Almere
    2. Chapter 5 In Search of Nowhere
      1. The Invention of Utopia
      2. Starchitects and Masterplans
    3. Chapter 6 Cities from Scratch
      1. Masterplanning: The Largest of the Creative Arts
      2. The Gridded Masterplan
      3. Why Aren’t There More Circular Masterplans
      4. St Petersburg: A Capital City Built to Order
    4. Chapter 7 Room to Expand
      1. A Job for Engineers
      2. The Building of Barcelona
    5. Chapter 8 Boulevards and Dictators
      1. A Very English Plan
      2. A Street of Granite in the Sky
      3. The Remodelling of Paris
      4. Welthauptstadt Germania
  10. Part 3 THE UNRULY CITY
    1. Chapter 9 The Terrifying Exploding City
      1. The ‘Demographic Transition’
      2. Manchester: The First City to Explode
      3. Mumbai: The Continually Exploding City
    2. Chapter 10 The Incredible Shrinking City
      1. The Near Death of the City
      2. Samuel Brooks and the First Urban Exodus
      3. Reversing the City’s Polarity
    3. Chapter 11 The Astounding Sprawling City
      1. Stemming the Tide
      2. From the Urban to the Suburban
      3. The Limits of Sprawl
  11. Part 4 THE CITY AND THE PLANNER
    1. Chapter 12 The Imposition of Order
      1. The Rules of the System
      2. The Invention of Planning
    2. Chapter 13 Grey Sky Modernists
      1. The Functional City
      2. Chandigarh and Brasília
      3. Townscape Modernism
    3. Chapter 14 With the Best of Intentions
      1. A New Town Built for the Age of the Car
      2. How Brookside Beat the Modernists
      3. The Car-based Suburb
      4. Separating Cars from Pedestrians
      5. The Cul-de-sac
      6. The Neighbourhood Unit
    4. Chapter 15 The Climax City of the 21st Century?
      1. A Sustainable City in the Desert
      2. The Loss of Innocence and the Need for Planning
      3. Planning is Part of the Climax State
      4. The Trellis and the Vine
      5. The Reform of Planning
      6. The Urban Renaissance
  12. References
  13. Index

Product information

  • Title: Climax City
  • Author(s): David Rudlin, Shruti Hemani
  • Release date: June 2019
  • Publisher(s): RIBA Publishing
  • ISBN: 9781000705201