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Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities [Paperback]

Leonie Sandercock
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 27 1997 0471971987 978-0471971986
This book explores how cosmopolitan cities responds to the economic, political and cultural demands and needs of so many diverse, and sometimes opposing groups.

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Review

"The most important book on planning practice of the late 20th Century. It will set the terms of debate for years to come.", Robert Beauregard, , #"The best contemporary text for teaching planning history and theory. It pushes theory and practice beyond its stubbornly modernist paradigms and into the new spaces opened by post-modern, post-colonial and feminist critiques.", Edward Soja, , #"Sandercock draws on recent theoretical and political debates on gender, race and sexuality as well as on grassroots struggles in the radically multiple cities of the late 20th Century to argue that planners have to find a way of building the new multicultural city, the Cosmopolis.", Neil Smith, , #"A brilliant tour de force, an original critique no thinking planner should be without. Passionate yet coherently reasoned and lucidly written, the book advances a Utopian vision, deeply grounded in actual cases drawn from a wide range of countries, to demonstrate how multicultural urban communities can achieve justice in a democratic manner.", Janet Abu-Lughod, , #

From the Back Cover

Towards Cosmopolis
Planning for multicultural cities

From Polis to Metropolis, men and women have continued to struggle to perfect our cities. Urban history presents a picture of grand ideals and devastating failures. Towards Cosmopolis explores why we have failed, and how we could succeed, in building an urban Utopia - with a difference.

Globalization, civil society, feminism and post-colonialism are the forces, ever shifting and changing our cities. We need a new vision to face such change. Sandercock pulls down the pillars of modernist city planning and raises in their place a new post-modern planning, a planning sensitive to community, environment and cultural diversity.

Towards Cosmopolis is illustrated with case material from around the world - which present 'a thousand tiny empowerments' of current planning practice - and with a superb range of specially commissioned images. This bold critique cuts to the heart of current debates about the future of our cities. It deserves a place on every citizen's shelf.

"The most important book on planning practice of the late 20th Century. It will set the terms of debate for years to come."
Robert Beauregard

"The best contemporary text for teaching planning history and theory. It pushes theory and practice beyond its stubbornly modernist paradigms and into the new spaces opened by post-modern, post-colonial and feminist critiques."
Edward Soja

"Sandercock draws on recent theoretical and political debates on gender, race and sexuality as well as on grassroots struggles in the radically multiple cities of the late 20th Century to argue that planners have to find a way of building the new multicultural city, the Cosmopolis."
Neil Smith

"A brilliant tour de force, an original critique no thinking planner should be without. Passionate yet coherently reasoned and lucidly written, the book advances a Utopian vision, deeply grounded in actual cases drawn from a wide range of countries, to demonstrate how multicultural urban communities can achieve justice in a democratic manner."
Janet Abu-Lughod


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Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Towards inaction May 18 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is typical of planning theory books. They do not say much that is of any practical value. This book will tell you that it is important of build socially inclusive cities, but it will not tell you how. It has little of practical value. Rather than provide an alternative approach to city building that is socially and environmentally aware it does little more than rehash arguments against planning that have been around for 40 years.
Though Sandercock goes some way to recognising the importance of design in city building she still can't bring herself to engage meaningfully with new urbanist proposals or to make any design recommendations.
By concentrating on 'planning theory' it misses out on the rich traditions of planning practice. It has no photographs of real spaces or real cities, just words. Don't read this if you haven't already read "The Death and Life of the Great American City" or "A Pattern Language". Once you have read these other books you won't want to read this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sandercock puts the cards in the table July 11 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book was for me an excelent discovering of the new planning from a multicultural approach. In some cases is repetitive, but have a very good selection of cases. I recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sandercock puts the cards in the table July 12 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was for me an excelent discovering of the new planning from a multicultural approach. In some cases is repetitive, but have a very good selection of cases. I recommend it.
3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Towards inaction May 18 2001
By Lester Townsend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is typical of planning theory books. They do not say much that is of any practical value. This book will tell you that it is important of build socially inclusive cities, but it will not tell you how. It has little of practical value. Rather than provide an alternative approach to city building that is socially and environmentally aware it does little more than rehash arguments against planning that have been around for 40 years.
Though Sandercock goes some way to recognising the importance of design in city building she still can't bring herself to engage meaningfully with new urbanist proposals or to make any design recommendations.
By concentrating on 'planning theory' it misses out on the rich traditions of planning practice. It has no photographs of real spaces or real cities, just words. Don't read this if you haven't already read "The Death and Life of the Great American City" or "A Pattern Language". Once you have read these other books you won't want to read this.
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