A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook

By Daniel Brook

One of The Washington Post's "Favorite Books of 2013"

A pioneering exploration of 4 towns the place East meets West and previous turns into destiny: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai.
each month, 5 million humans stream from the prior to the long run. Pouring into developing-world “instant cities” like Dubai and Shenzhen, those city rookies confront a contemporary international cobbled jointly from fragments of a West they've got by no means noticeable. Do those fantastical boomtowns, the place blueprints spring to lifestyles in a single day on virgin land, characterize the dawning of a courageous new global? Or is their vaunted newness a mirage?
In a charming mix of background and reportage, Daniel Brook travels to a sequence of significant metropolitan hubs that have been as soon as themselves rapid cities— St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Mumbai—to watch their “dress rehearsals for the twenty-first century.” figuring out today’s rising worldwide order, he argues, calls for comprehending the West’s profound and conflicted impression on developing-world towns over the centuries.

In 1703, Tsar Peter the good in my opinion oversaw the development of a brand new Russian capital, a “window at the West” rigorously modeled on Amsterdam, that he believed could wrench Russia into the fashionable global. within the 19th century, Shanghai turned the fastest-growing urban on the earth because it mushroomed into an English-speaking, Western-looking city that simply occurred to be within the a long way East. in the meantime, Bombay, the cosmopolitan hub of the British Raj, morphed right into a tropical London by the hands of its pith-helmeted imperialists.

Juxtaposing the tales of the architects and authoritarians, the artists and revolutionaries who seized the reins to remodel each one of those precociously sleek locations into avatars of the worldwide destiny, Brook demonstrates that the force for modernization used to be in the beginning conflated with wholesale Westernization. He exhibits, too, the ambiguous legacy of that emulation—the delivery (and rebirth) of chinese language capitalism in Shanghai, the origins of Bollywood in Bombay’s American-style motion picture palaces, the flamable mixture of innovative tradition and politics that rocked the Russian capital—and the way it could be transcended today.

A attention-grabbing, vibrant glance from the previous out towards the horizon, A heritage of destiny Cities is either an important reminder of globalization’s lengthy march and an inspiring investigate the probabilities of our Asian Century.
12 illustrations; four maps

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17 Jackson also was impressed with Mills's reputation for designing fireproof structures and thus promoted him to the position of chief architect for the capital in 1836. Shortly after his appointment, Mills became the architect for the new Treasury Department Building. This structure would be much larger than his earlier efforts and far more complicated, since his superiors required a fireproof edifice. Mills subdivided the interior into vaulted masonry spaces. He provided convenient central corridors for access to and from the rooms and included primary and secondary stairways at strategic locations for safe exits.

14 Next, he won a competition to design the Monumental Church in Richmond, Virginia, as a memorial to the victims of a major fire in that city. 15 In 1830 he was appointed principal draughtsman to the Land Office in Washington. He began preparing plans for marine hospitals, customs houses, federal buildings in Washington, and other public buildings around the country. Within three years, however, the Treasury Building, Post Office, and Patent Office burned, opening new opportunities for architects in the capital city.

5 Hamlin downplayed European influences on the style, believing that the major components were created at home as evidence of democratic expression. Hamlin's work has withstood the test of time; it is still in print and widely circulated after nearly fifty years. In fact, it remained as the major national discussion of the Greek Revival style until Roger Kennedy's Greek Revival America appeared in 1989. In this magnificently illustrated volume, Kennedy looks more extensively at the social, political, and economic forces that contributed to the style.

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