Cities and Urbanism

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Photo Credit and Caption: Underwater image of fish in Moofushi Kandu, Maldives, by Bruno de Giusti (via Wikimedia Commons)

Cite this page:

Wittmeyer, S. (2020, 2 June). Cities and Urbanism. Retrieved from

Cities and Urbanism was updated June 2nd, 2020.

The Nickelodeon Cartoon That Taught a Generation to Hate Capitalism

In 1994, the Clinton administration introduced the Empowerment Zone program, an urban policy scheme that provided a few small grants or tax credits to communities deemed financially stressed, along with tax credits for big businesses to operate in poorer communities.

Habitat as Virtual Exhibition

Visit the exhibition Habitat: Expanding Architecture from the comfort of your own home. The Jaap Bakema Study Centre developed this spatial model in partnership with Ardito on the basis of the exhibition held ...

VICE - Coronavirus Is Not a Good Reason to Abandon Cities

Coronavirus has raised the question of whether density in cities is good or bad. The answer depends on what politicians do next.

Project Japan: Metabolism Talks...

Project Japan: Metabolism Talks... ,An oral history by Rem Koolhaas and Hans Ulrich Obrist documenting the first non-Western avant-garde movement in architecture and the last moment that architecture was a public rather than a private affair...

The Urban Code of China

When reading the Chinese city, which this book sets out to do, it is not the well-known cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi an that are in the focus of attention, but rather the essentially Chinese of the Chinese city, those characteristics or attributes that are more or less shared by all Chinese cities.

The Monocle Guide to Building Better Cities - Shop

How do we make better cities - places that work for people of all ages and backgrounds? How do we make cities that provide the obvious essentials - great transport, good places to work - as well as the softer elements that truly deliver quality of life, from urban swimming pools to rooftop clubs?

The Grand Projet: Towards Adaptable and Liveable Urban Megaprojects

Urban Megaprojects - here referred to as Grands Projets - are increasing in number all over the world. They have become major drivers for urban intensification and manifestations of the larger economic and political agenda of their city. As such, Grands Projets offer a productive moment to investigate current urban trends in a globally connected form of concentrated urbanisation.


In den letzten Jahren und Jahrzehnten ist die Auseinandersetzung mit dem architektonischen Erbe des Industriezeitalters immer mehr zur planerischen Aufgabe geworden: Industriebauten und -areale, Infrastrukturanlagen und Wohngebiete haben sich im Zuge des Strukturwandels zu Leerstellen entwickelt, die aber - allein aufgrund ihrer Dimensionen - im Stadtraum nicht zu vernachlässigen sind.

Cities Design and Evolution

Why does modern planning sometimes create urban environments that are less attractive and functional than the 'organic urbanism' of traditional cities? Cities Design and Evolution takes up the challenge of this question, investigating 'how cities are put together', both in the sense of how the parts are organized in relation to the whole, and how they are created or evolve over time.

Lessons of Informality

Informal settlements made up of corrugated iron shacks and other materials are a ubiquitous feature in the megacities of Africa, Asia and Latin America. In response to the enormous influx of migrants from the countryside, the informal city experienced a phenomenal growth.

The City at Its Limits

In 1996, against the backdrop of Alberto Fujimori's increasingly corrupt national politics, an older woman in Lima, Peru-part of a group of women street sweepers protesting the privatization of the city's cleaning services-stripped to the waist in full view of the crowd that surrounded her.

Rethinking the Informal City

Latin American cities have always been characterized by a strong tension between what is vaguely described as their formal and informal dimensions. However, the terms formal and informal refer not only to the physical aspect of cities but also to their entire socio-political fabric.

Cities From Scratch

This collection of essays challenges long-entrenched ideas about the history, nature, and significance of the informal neighborhoods that house the vast majority of Latin America's urban poor. Until recently, scholars have mainly viewed these settlements through the prisms of crime and drug-related violence, modernization and development theories, populist or revolutionary politics, or debates about the cultures of poverty.

The Image of the City

The classic work on the evaluation of city form. What does the city's form actually mean to the people who live there? What can the city planner do to make the city's image more vivid and memorable to the city dweller?

The Architecture of the City

Aldo Rossi, a practicing architect and leader of the Italian architectural movement La Tendenza, is also one of the most influential theorists writing today. The Architecture of the City is his major work of architectural and urban theory.

Streets and Patterns

There is an emerging consensus that urban street layouts should be planned with greater attention to 'placemaking' and urban design quality, while maintaining the conventional transport functions of accessibility and connectivity. However, it is not always clear how this might be achieved: we still tend to have different sets of guidance for main road networks and for local streetgrids.

Koolhaas. Countryside, A Report - TASCHEN Books

Discover how the countryside is transforming in Rem Koolhaas's project with the companion book to the exhibition at New York's Guggenheim Museum..

Learning From Las Vegas, Revised Edition

Learning from Las Vegas created a healthy controversy on its appearance in 1972, calling for architects to be more receptive to the tastes and values of "common" people and less immodest in their erections of "heroic," self-aggrandizing monuments.This revision includes the full texts of Part I of the original, on the Las Vegas strip, and Part II, "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed," a generalization from the findings of the first part on symbolism in architecture and the iconography of urban sprawl.

Landscape in Sight

Focusing not on nature but on landscape--land shaped by human presence--Jackson invites us to see the everyday places of the American countryside and city. This appealing anthology, illustrated with Jackson's sketches and photographs, brings together his most famous essays, significant but less well known writings, articles originally published under pseudonyms, a bibliography of his landscape writings, and introductions that place his work in context.

The Coronavirus and the future of Main Street

What can we do to save our streets? Decentralize everything. Our Main Streets and High Streets have been in trouble for decades, thanks to the onslaught of malls, then Walmart and the big box stores, then Amazon and online shopping. It wasn't just the competition, either; in many cities, rising real estate values led to massive rent increases.

What does a good megadevelopment look like?

Deep dives on cities, architecture, design, real estate, and urban planning. The first of my recent conversations about megadevelopments with Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of the Practice for Architecture and Urbanism (PAU), took place in early February, when the world was a different place.

Rome Has Been Sacked, Conquered and Abandoned. Now It's the Pandemic's Turn.

The Great Read Rome Dispatch The city's turbulent history has forged an irreverent, anti-authoritarian and, in some ways, cynical character. Can that survive the coronavirus? ROME - Rome turned 2,773 last week. To mark the legendary founding of the city and its past glory, there is usually a crowded birthday parade of re-enactors dressed up as gladiators and vestal virgins.

COVID-19 Is the First Truly Global Event

Police Erupt in Violence Nationwide Trump Can't Just Refuse to Leave Office Remove Trump Now Tanker Truck Speeds Into Thousands of George Floyd Protesters on Minneapolis Bridge There is no one on the planet who remains unaffected by COVID-19.

How coronavirus could bring cities closer to home

Coronavirus is changing the world in unprecedented ways. Subscribe here for a daily briefing on how this global crisis is affecting cities, technology, approaches to climate change, and the lives of vulnerable people.

Opinion | Will You Want to Go Straight Back Into the Crowd?

Planners once dreamed of cities with vast empty plazas and quiet streets. Post-pandemic, might they do so again? By Dr. Williams is a professor of contemporary visual cultures. Of all the media images that the Covid-19 crisis has generated in recent weeks, it is the city devoid of crowds that has perhaps been the most affecting.

Why U.S. Unemployment Is Sky-High and Europe's Isn't

Here is today's Foreign Policy brief: Early unemployment numbers spell more trouble for the U.S. economy, Netanyahu cleared to form a government, and Iraq approves a new prime minister. If you would like to receive Morning Brief in your inbox every weekday, please sign up here. Early Jobs Numbers Outline Extent of U.S.

Growing Atlanta Suburb Reclaiming an Unexpected Public Space

If city-dwellers wanted to visit a green space in the 19th century, they likely found themselves at a cemetery. During much of that time, cemeteries played the role that city parks often do today, acting as a spot for people to gather. But increasingly over the past decade, communities have once again embraced hanging out in cemeteries.

Why a Struggling Rust Belt City Pinned Its Revival on a Self-Chilling Beverage Can

On an unseasonably warm November morning in 2016, Youngstown's business and political leaders crowded onto a small, scraggly plot of land on the Ohio city's long-suffering East Side. Reeling from decades of decline, the area was a patchwork of potholed streets, weeded lots, moldering homes and drive-thru liquor marts.

The Office Is Dead - Get ready for the commercial real estate apocalypse

In early March, Jeff Haynie, the CEO of Austin-based software company Pinpoint, was gearing up to find new office space. Pinpoint’s $25,000-per-month lease with WeWork for 1,800 square feet would be up in August, and it was time to move on. He was thinking he’d need maybe 10,000 square feet for his growing company, which makes software for programmers.

Covid-19 Is Forcing an Exodus From Peru's Cities

The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on a visual chronicle of untold stories as the coronavirus continues to spread across the United States and the rest of the world-read more from The Invisible Front Line. -The Editors In Peru's capital city, an exodus is underway.

Opinion | The Cities We Need

Jeenah Moon/The New York Times America's cities were once engines ofAmerica's cities wereIn this crisis, how can growth and opportunity.once engines of growth and opportunity. In this crisis, how can we save them?we save them? Crises can be clarifying. By The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values.

Manhattan Faces a Reckoning if Working From Home Becomes the Norm

Even after the crisis eases, companies may let workers stay home. That would affect an entire ecosystem, from transit to restaurants to shops. Not to mention the tax base. Before the coronavirus crisis, three of New York City's largest commercial tenants - Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley - had tens of thousands of workers in towers across Manhattan.

Analysis | Sweden's coronavirus strategy is not what it seems

Want smart analysis of the most important news in your inbox every weekday, along with other global reads, interesting ideas and opinions to know? Sign up for the Today's WorldView newsletter . As societies battened down the hatches and imposed quarantines, one European country appeared to take a different approach.

Who's in charge of lifting lockdowns?

In a nation with more than 90,000 governments, responses to the coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the challenges posed by the United States' system of federalism, where significant power rests with states and local governments. Wisconsin's Supreme Court just overturned their governor's order for residents to stay at home - and then several cities and counties imposed their own restrictions, very similar to the governor's rules.

'A Nightmare Scenario': Coronavirus Has Reached the World's Biggest Refugee Settlement

Aid groups are warning of a devastating coronavirus outbreak after COVID-19 was confirmed in the world's largest refugee settlement, where nearly 900,000 vulnerable Rohingya refugees live in overcrowded and dirty conditions. The confirmation of the first case in the camps at Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh late Thursday, was "the realization of a nightmare scenario," said Daniel P.

Articles and Projects

Explore Cities and Urbanism further in the articles, observations, and projects I've had the opportunity to work on.