Cities of Tomorrow
Peter Hall is Professor of Planning at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London. He is the author of nearly 30 books in planning and related subjects, including London 2000 (1963), The World Cities, third edition (1984), High Tech America (with Ann Markusen & Amy Glasmeier, 1986), Great Planning Disasters (1992), and Cities in Civilization (1999). He has been credited with the invention of the Enterprise Zone concept, which has been widely employed in the USA and Europe. An advisor to governments and international agencies across the globe, Professor Hall is known throughout the world for his contribution both to the theory and to the practice of city and regional planning.
Cities of Tomorrow
Cities of Imagination
Then I asked: "does a firm perswasion that a thing is so, make it so?"
He replied: "All Poets believe that it does, & in ages of imagination this firm perswasion removed mountains; but many are not capable of a firm perswasion of any thing."
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell ( ca . 1790)
Chr .: Sir, said Christian , I am a Man that am come from the City of Destruction , and am going to the Mount Zion , and I was told by the man that stands by the Gate at the head of this way; that if I called here, you would shew me excellent things, such as would be an help to me in my Journey.
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress (1678)
For we must consider that we shall be a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world.
John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity (1630)
... on a huge hill,
Cragg'd, and steep, Truth stands, and hee that will
Reach her, about must, and about must goe;
And what the hills suddennes resists, winne so;
John Donne, "Satyre III" ( ca . 1595)
Cities of Imagination : Alternative Visions of the Good City, 1880–1987
"Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist": thus Keynes, in a celebrated passage at the end of the General Theory . "Madmen in authority," he wrote, "who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back." 1 For economists, he might as aptly have substituted planners. Much if not most of what has happened – for good or for ill – to the world's cities, in the years since World War Two, can be traced back to the ideas of a few visionaries who lived and wrote long ago, often almost ignored and largely rejected by their contemporaries. They have had their posthumous vindication in the world of practical affairs; even, some might say, their revenge on it.
This book is about them, their visions, and the effect of these on the everyday work of building cities. Their names will repeatedly recur, as in some Pantheon of the planning movement: Howard, Unwin, Parker, Osborn; Geddes, Mumford, Stein, MacKaye, Chase; Burnham, Lutyens; Corbusier; Wells, Webber; Wright, Turner, Alexander; Friedmann, Castells, Harvey; Duany, Plater-Zyberk, Calthorpe, Rogers. The central argument can be succinctly summarized: most of them were visionaries, but for many of them their visions long lay fallow, because the time was not ripe. The visions themselves were often utopian, even charismatic: they resembled nothing so much as secular versions of the seventeenth-century Puritans' Celestial City set on Mount Zion, now brought down to earth and made ready for an age that demanded rewards there also. When at last the visions were discovered and resuscitated, their implementation came often in very different places, in very different circumstances, and often through very different mechanisms, from those their inventors had originally envisaged. Transplanted as they were in time and space and socio-political environment, it is small wonder that the results were often bizarre, sometimes catastrophic. To appreciate this, it is thus important first to strip away the layers of historical topsoil that have buried and obscured the original ideas; second to understand the nature of their transplantation.
The Anarchist Roots of the Planning Movement
Specifically, the bo