Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World

Wade Graham

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Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World

Dream Cities Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World From the acclaimed landscape designer historian and author of American Eden a lively unique and accessible cultural history of modern cities from suburbs downtown districts and exurban sprawl t

  • Title: Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World
  • Author: Wade Graham
  • ISBN: 9780062196316
  • Page: 449
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the acclaimed landscape designer, historian and author of American Eden, a lively, unique, and accessible cultural history of modern cities from suburbs, downtown districts, and exurban sprawl, to shopping malls and sustainable developments that allows us to view them through the planning, design, architects, and movements that inspired, created, and shaped them.DreFrom the acclaimed landscape designer, historian and author of American Eden, a lively, unique, and accessible cultural history of modern cities from suburbs, downtown districts, and exurban sprawl, to shopping malls and sustainable developments that allows us to view them through the planning, design, architects, and movements that inspired, created, and shaped them.Dream Cities explores our cities in a new way as expressions of ideas, often conflicting, about how we should live, work, play, make, buy, and believe It tells the stories of the real architects and thinkers whose imagined cities became the blueprints for the world we live in.From the nineteenth century to today, what began as visionary concepts sometimes utopian, sometimes outlandish, always controversial were gradually adopted and constructed on a massive scale in cities around the world, from Dubai to Ulan Bator to London to Los Angeles Wade Graham uses the lives of the pivotal dreamers behind these concepts, as well as their acolytes and antagonists, to deconstruct our urban landscapes the houses, towers, civic centers, condominiums, shopping malls, boulevards, highways, and spaces in between exposing the ideals and ideas embodied in each.From the baroque fantasy villages of Bertram Goodhue to the superblocks of Le Corbusier s Radiant City to the pseudo agrarian dispersal of Frank Lloyd Wright s Broadacre City, our upscale leafy suburbs, downtown skyscraper districts, infotainment driven shopping malls, and sustainable eco developments are seen as never before In this elegantly designed and illustrated book, Graham uncovers the original plans of brilliant, obsessed, and sometimes megalomaniacal designers, revealing the foundations of today s varied municipalities Dream Cities is nothing less than a field guide to our modern urban world.Illustrated with 59 black and white photos throughout the text.

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      Published :2018-011-14T09:17:55+00:00

    One thought on “Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World

    1. Zach on said:

      I was drawn to this book after enjoying much of Wade Graham's other book, "American Eden." This book is one of those in-between ones: part scholarly monograph, part pop-history. This blended genre in particular has always been a difficult one for me to quite figure out how to read best — I appreciate the breezy accessibility and the clear writing style, but am also left always wanting a little bit more critical engagement with the subject, a little more of the more "academic" side. My three c [...]

    2. Agnieszka Kalus on said:

      Nie tylko dla architektów. Ciekawie opisuje jak i dlaczego od końca XIX wieku do teraz zmieniały się koncepcje projektowania miast.

    3. Jonathan on said:

      Wade Graham discusses seven different ideas that have shaped urban planning/design in the past century and a half. Each chapter focuses on one idea, using one or two well-known architects or planner-intellectuals ground it. He shows the interaction between the world of ideas and the built environment and pays special attention to how architecture interacts with its social, environmental, and political context. The seven "ideas" are the following: the romantic city (Bertram Goodhue and castle-esq [...]

    4. George Benaroya on said:

      I am not an architect, thus I was unable to fully appreciate all the material. Learned many things though, some of which I indicated below. These are my key takeaways (all spoilers)1- CastlesSuburbs were meant to be out of the reach of the poor, the criminal and the immigrant. Llewelyn Park, New Jersey (13 miles from Manhattan) was the first, with a medieval-themed gatehouse.2- MonumentsChicago: the cost of a quarter acre in the city center jumped from $130,000 in 1880 to $900,000 in 1890 and $1 [...]

    5. Matt Williams on said:

      A solid read about seven distinct visions for cities in the last 150 years or so. The moral? For the most part, our urbanists haven't actually liked cities as they actually exist, and have taken actions to destroy them in order to save them (see: Moses, Robert; see: interstate highways cutting through neighborhoods; see: urban renewal projects that feature removal). It may not be surprising that builders and planners tend to think they know best how built environments should be ordered, and desi [...]

    6. Harrison on said:

      Graham's earlier chapters present stronger, more cohesive arguments—the second half of the book reads more like a powerpoint presentation lecture without many of the necessary images. Still, a well-researched survey, but one that could have still incorporated a grander structure or overarching thesis.

    7. Yates Buckley on said:

      Well written, flowing read and a great path to access the ideas behind the structure of cities. However the book is incomplete of typology of ideas, US centered in its examples and does not cover the use of spaces enough compared to the thinking that led to their creation.Nevertheless a very productive read

    8. Steve on said:

      An interesting tour of modern city design influences by looking at architects and the architectural ideas that they've espoused. I found it mixed-- some chapters focused too much on dates and conferences and charters and less on the underlying ideas, which weakened their impact on me (a personal preference), making the overall book a little dry for my taste. But I am a layman.

    9. Marcin Szneider on said:

      I liked chapters about XX-th modernist blocks, anti-city from F.L.Wright, traditional city from Jane Jacobs and modern shopping malls. Sometimes this book is more about architecture, architects and their ideas. First two chapters can be boring, especially when XIX-th century architecture is not in your point of interest.Still it is worth to read.

    10. Jack Bunce on said:

      It was a bit too much like a textbook. Dense and lots of historical facts. Somewhat interesting, but I'd only recommend it to someone who studies urban planning or architecture rather seriously.

    11. Lina on said:

      I find the topic intriguing, and I was especially tickled to see a cameo appearance of my own (formerly federally subsidized WPA) city, but I just couldn't get into this.

    12. Jeff Stern on said:

      Great examples of diverse cities (Broadacre City, Seaside Florida, Horton Plaza, and Dome Over Manhattan) and a gentle survey of different paradigms in city building

    13. Walt on said:

      Even without a background in architecture or art, I was captivated by this book. Graham is a talented writer discussing a subject that does not readily lend itself to exploration and understanding by lay audiences. Another reviewer described the book as part scholarly and part pop culture. I disagree. The citations are more in line with mass market works than peer-reviewed sources. They do offer the opportunity for further readings that are probably more critically selected for inclusion than ma [...]

    14. Jill Meyer on said:

      Dream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape The World", by Wade Graham, is a dream book for armchair urbanists. The book is not long, but Graham covers the seven architectural concepts that he claims have influenced the development of cities over the years. His seven, "Castles", "Monuments", "Slabs", "Homesteads", "Corals", "Malls", and "Habitats" , are fleshed out by giving the prime architects who either conceived the ideas or were leading practitioners of them.Let's take "Slabs". These are tho [...]

    15. Matthew on said:

      it seems like a quick read, but it wasnt. Jane Jacobs took us on a path through her city and there were quips and purpose to her meanderings and factoids. Wade Graham, perhaps was talking about something less concrete, but still in the same spirit, and it was lackluster. There arent really any continuity from chapter to chapter or a reminder of why he wrote this book. For example, Chapter 4 "Homesteads" felt more like a dry biography of Frank Lloyd Wright. What is a great strength in the writing [...]

    16. Aubrey on said:

      Wade Graham's latest purports to be about 7 ideas in planning/architecture that have created our largely similar feeling cities across the world.In the introduction, the reader learns that Graham feels today's cities are full of a homogeneity that he finds a sad state of affairs. He speaks subtly about segregation, control, and the March of morality. In order to get at these subtle ideas he takes an historic look at 7 forms and the lead(s) architects of those forms. The failure of this book is t [...]

    17. Craig1colo on said:

      Wade Graham covers a lot of ground in Dream Cities and it is a pleasant journey. Like many category books, the choice of categories can seem a bit arbitrary and open to discussion, but the seven categories which he has chosen are good ones: castles, monuments, slabs, homesteads, corals, malls, and habitats.There is a nice focus on the various flavors of "rationalization" that have driven development of cities, and the unforeseen consequences of urban monocultures, zoning, and idealization of the [...]

    18. Beth on said:

      I chose this on impulse at the library. If you know me, you probably know I read mostly fiction, but you might not know that I'm interested in urban design. I'm interested in a lot of things. Anyway, this is more of a series of essays on different ideas about the design of cities throughout modern history (with some ancient history for perspective and background). While the author offered critiques of the differing philosophies, there was too much, for me, pessimism regarding how we humans decid [...]

    19. Gary Wright on said:

      Great overview of the major variations in world communities. Favorite quote was from Edna St.Vincent Millay: ''Safe upon the solid rock, the ugly houses stand. Come and see my shining palace built upon the sand.'' I never knew of Frank Lloyd Wright's personal catastrophes in his later life until this summation. Interesting stuff here and something that will continue to inform my sense of the various places I encounter.

    20. Marybeth on said:

      I entered the drawing to try to get this book for my architect son-in-law, so I've passed it on. As soon as he's able to read it I'll write a review. It looks really interesting and like something he can use in Urban Planning. I'll try to read it also at some point. I appreciate winning it and I know he,ll read and enjoy it as soon as he can. Many thanks. I don't feel I can rate it by guess, so I'll wait to hear what he says.

    21. John Benson on said:

      I enjoyed this book quite a bit as it looked at how ideas from various architects influenced the urban landscape of American cities and others throughout the developed world. Most architects ideas he saw eventually led to more de-humanized metropolitan areas, but he did see good in Jane Jacobs' ideas. I wish there had been a concluding essay in the end.

    22. Eli on said:

      Different, but pretty interesting take on urban planning and architecture. First sections were better than the last one or two.

    23. Sean Mcdonald on said:

      It name dropped some architect names a bit too freely for a layman to the field, but was otherwise a decent way to see how city design has been influenced in the past.

    24. Yvonne on said:

      Terrific book! It reads like a novel. Interesting through and through.

    25. Jon on said:

      There are too many flowery paragraphs where a picture would suffice, and I thought it would revolve around "how" and "why" than a "who" and "when." It's not a bad book. It's just not for me.

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