1st Edition

Urban Transformations Power, People and Urban Design

By Ian Bentley Copyright 1999
    320 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Part 1: Problematics of production Introduction 1. Untouched by human hand 2. Heroes and servants, markets and battlefields 3. Genius and tradition Conclusion: A framework of questions Part 2: Spatial transformations and their cultural support Introduction 4. Profit and Place 5. Propping up the system 6. Building bastions of sense Conclusion: Supports for the power bloc Part 3: Positive values, negative outcomes Introduction 7. Concepts for prospecting common ground 8. Beyond buzzwords 9. Horizons of choice Conclusion: An agenda for positive change Part 4: Windows of opportunity Introduction 10. Reclaiming the Modernist vision 11. Experts who deliver 12. Artists in a common cause Conclusion: Exciting prospects


    Ian Bentley

    '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