1st Edition

Climax City Masterplanning and the Complexity of Urban Growth

By David Rudlin, Shruti Hemani Copyright 2019
    288 Pages
    by RIBA Publishing

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    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.

    Part 1: The Spontaneous City  1. Cities Without Plans  2. The Natural Town  3. The Spontaneous Slum  Part 2: The Designed City  4. The Subtle Art of Master planning  5. In Search of Nowhere  6. Cities from Scratch  7. Room to Expand  8. Boulevards and Dictators  Part 3: The Unruly City  9. The Astounding Sprawling City  10. The Incredible Shrinking City  11. The Terrifying Exploding City  Part 4: The City and the Planner 12. The Imposition of Order  13. Blue Sky Modernists  15. With the Best of Intentions  16. Shaping the Climax City


    David Rudlin is a planner and currently director of URBED, Chair of the Academy of Urbanism and Honorary Professor at Manchester University.