An exploration of urbanism, personal identity, and how the space we live in shapes us According to philosopher and cultural critic Mark Kingwell, the transnational global city—New York and Shanghai—is the most significant machine our species has ...
our species has ever produced. And yet, he says, we fail again and again to understand it. How do cities shape us, and how do we shape them? That is the subject of Concrete Reveries, which investigates how we occupy city space and why place is so important to who we are.
Kingwell explores the sights, smells, and forms of the city, reflecting on how they mold our notions of identity, the limits of social and political engagement, and our moral obligations as citizens. He offers a critique of the monumental architectural supermodernism in which buildings are valued more for their exteriors than for what is inside, as well as some lively writing on the significance of threshold structures like doorways, lobbies, and porches and the kinds of emotional attachments we form to ballparks, carnival grounds, and gardens. In the process, he gives us a whole new set of models and metaphors for thinking about the city.
With a spectacular interior design and more than seventy-five photos, Concrete Reveries will appeal to fans of Jane Jacobs, Witold Rybczynski, and Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness.