Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities

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9780471971979: Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities

Most of the world's populations now live in cities. These cities, especially the big "world cities" are multicultural, they are melting pots of different people, with different ethnic backgrounds, classes and subcultures. How can these "cosmopolitan" cities respond to the economic, political and cultural demands and needs of so many different (and even opposing) groups? This text examines current theory and practice and challenges planners to build the new multicultural cities. It includes international coverage, with case material from USA, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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From the Back Cover:

The most important book on planning practice of the late 20th Century. It will set the terms of debate for years to come. Robert Beauregard The best contemporary text for teaching planning history and theory. It pushes theory and practice beyond its stubbornly modernist paradigms and into the new spaces opened by post-modern, post-colonial and feminist critiques. Edward Soja Sandercock draws on recent theoretical and political debates on gender, rate and sexuality as well as on grassroot struggles in the radically multiple cities of the late 20th Century to argue that planners have to find a way of building the new multicultural city, the Cosmopolis. Neil Smith A brilliant tour de force, an original critique no thinking planner should be without. Passionate yet coherently reasoned and lucidly written, the book advances a Utopian vision, deeply grounded in actual cases drawn from a wide variety of countries, to demonstrate how multicultural urban communities can achieve justice in a democratic manner. Janet Abu-Lughod From polis to metropolis, men and women have continued to struggle to perfect our cities. Urban history presents a picture of grand ideals and devastating failures. Towards Cosmopolis explores why we have failed, and how we could succeed, in building an urban Utopia - with a difference. Globalization, civil society, feminism and post-colonialism are the forces, ever shifting and changing, which are shaping our cities. We need a new vision to face such change. Sandercock pulls down the pillars of modernist city planning and raises in their place a new post-modern planning, a planning sensitive to community, environment and cultural diversity. Towards Cosmopolis is illustrated with case material from around the world - which present 'a thousand tiny empowerments' of current planning practice - and with a superb range of specially commissioned images. This bold critique cuts to the heart of current debates about the future of our cities. It deserves a place on every citizen's shelf.

About the Author:

Leonie Sandercock is Professor and Chair of the Department of Landscape, Environment & Planning at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

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