25: Urban Design Now F/W 2006


The radical critique of current American urban design practice articulated here may be as potent and important as the radical critique of Modernist practice articulated and worked through from the early 1960s (with Jane Jacobs) through the early 1980s (with Postmodernism). This time it is a radical critique of the late and stale fruits of that earlier critique. Just as late Modernism calcified into dogmatism and second rate production–inhuman corporate and public housing towers, so too has the humanist reaction against Modernism devolved into lifelessness and shallow formula. This devolution and the resulting need for a radical change of direction is here expressed with the power of a long submerged awareness at last coming to the surface. The realization in these pages is that our hope for revitalized urbanism and a more fulfilling and meaningful city life through a return to the patterns, texture, look, and scale of certain pre-20th-century cities and through a focus on yuppie lifestyles has created innumerable delusions and falsities.

Table of Contents

Editors' Letter

Cappuccino Urbanism, and Beyond

William S. Saunders


“Facts on the Ground” Urbanism from Mid-Road to Ditch

Michelle Provoost, Wouter Vanstiphout

Beyond Centers, “Fabric,” and the Culture of Congestion: Urban Design as a Metropolitan Enterprise

Richard M. Sommer

Defining the Urbanistic Project: Ten Contemporary Approaches

Joan Busquets

Designing the Postmetropolis

Edward W. Soja

Dispatch from the Subdivision Archipelago and Dubai…Is Not Yet

Ahmed Kanna, Rodolfo Machado

The End(s) of Urban Design

Michael Sorkin

The Morals of Modernist Minimalism: A Provocation

Thomas Spector

The Upside of Gentrification

Matthew J. Kiefer

Toward a Well-Tempered Digital Design: The Architecture of Reiser + Umemoto

Antoine Picon

Urban Design after Battery Park City: Opportunities for Variety and Vitality in Large-Scale Urban Real-Estate Development

Timothy Love

Urban Design Now: A Discussion

Alex Krieger, Dennis Pieprz, Farshid Moussavi, Julia Czerniak, Margaret Crawford, Matthew Urbanski, Paul Goldberger, Rodolfo Machado, William S. Saunders


A Field Guide to Sprawl by Dolores Hayden and Jim Wark

Andrew Ross

Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions by Fredric Jameson

Reinhold Martin

Sprawl: A Compact History by Robert Bruegmann

Alex Krieger

The Birth of City Planning in the United States, 1840–1917 by Jon A. Peterson

Robert Fishman