Monday, March 21, 2011

Makeshift Metropolis: ideas about cities

 by Witold Rybczynski

I've always thought the best part of Sim City is laying out the streets and water lines, deciding where to put the airport and the city hall. Did you know you can sort of cheat and make the game let you do all the building and landscaping you want without having to pay and without turning on the clock? I could do that for days and days.... I also have a thing for architecture and design in general, so I very much enjoyed this book about city planning. It's amazing how much historical overview and analysis, theory and practice, speculation and suggesting the author crams into a rather short book. Engaging and easy to understand, informative but not pedantic, this book is a real pleasure to read.

The author lives and teaches in Philadelphia, so it was additionally gratifying for me to read the many references to my home city's history, architecture and design (even the bad examples).


No comments: