Cities affect every person's life, yet across the traditional divides of class, age, gender and political affiliation, armies of people are united in their dislike of the transformations that cities have undergone in recent times. The physical form of the urban environment is not a designer add-on to 'real' social issues; it is a central aspect of the social world. Yet in many people's experience, the cumulative impacts of recent urban development have created widely un-loved urban places. To work towards better-loved urban environments, we need to understand how current problems have arisen and identify practical action to address them.
Urban Transformations examines the crucial issues relating to how cities are formed, how people use these urban environments and how cities can be transformed into better places. Exploring the links between the concrete physicality of the built environment and the complex social, economic, political and cultural processes through which the physical urban form is produced and consumed, Ian Bentley proposes a framework of ideas to provoke and develop current debate and new forms of practice.
'This is an extraordinarily rich book that attempts to fill a large gap in current literature between the "how to design" books of the design professionals and the critical thinking of the social sciences. Ultimately, because of the ground that it covers, this book deserves to be widely read.' - TPR
'An intriguing, absorbing read, bringing together a myriad of ideas.' - Environment and Planning: Planning and Design