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."
"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."
"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."
"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."