Nutopia: A Critical View of Future Cities
Envisioning the city used to be easy: it was a place of safety, stability, proximity and trade. Through the period of European modernity, cities became diverse; by the nineteenth century the metropolis was a location of cultural migration and social mixing, and of anonymity. Now, in a period of de-industrialisation in the West, when cities are represented by symbolic economies, it is no longer possible to give a unified definition of the City: there are cities and sites of difference or cosmopolitanism, sites of security rather than safety, and sites of distancing as much as of togetherness. Yet a majority of the world s human population now live in cities, which are likely to remain the dominant form of habitat. How, then, do we envision (or regenerate) cities for a humane and viable future?