City is diversity

Ready for 21 minutes of discussion ? « The Future of the City was the theme of the inaugural Monocle + Killik debate held in London in September. We convened an audience of leading academics, architects, developers, city officials and Monocle subscribers to look at how you make a city truly liveable. On the panel were philosopher and author Alain de Botton, urbanist and former mayor of Bogotá Enrique Peñalosa, associate director at Arup, Alejandro Gutierrez and Monocle’s editor in chief, Tyler Brûlé. »

The shortest wrap-up is indeed : city is diversity. Twice during the exchange, Alain de Botton is right to put an emphasis on rail station -but less so on museums, at least the way he did and Alejandro Gutierrez is right to cite the Bilbao experience-. A debatable central question is also raised by Tyler Brûlé quoting Enrique Peñalosa : are shopping malls sign of a bad-designed city ? Etc.

Moreover :
– Arup’s Integrated urbanism pages.
– Susan Ives on Enrique Peñalosa.
– Alain de Botton’s interview on urban development in London and Lady Yvonne Cochrane’s one on urban planning, architecture in Beirut and the future of Lebanon by Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé. Query about « City » selects the following features on Monocle’s website.
– Tyler Brûlé’s columns in FT Week-End and contributions to Monocle, all of which are often related to urbanism and services in cities.
– WebOL’s Architecture category & Lavoisy/Net’s pages on Architecture.
– (…).

Add-on, courtesy of Elektra : Taschen has just published a detailled collection of city views from early 17th century. According to the presentation (released in german, but it seems that the publication is in english actually), « Das Werk erschien 1572–1617, kurz vor den gravierenden Zerstörungen des Dreißigjährigen Kriegs, und enthält 564 Ansichten aus der Vogelperspektive und maßstabsgetreue Stadtpläne aller größeren europäischen Städte sowie wichtiger Orte in Asien, Afrika und Lateinamerika. Der Theologe und Herausgeber Georg Braun edierte und kommentierte die prachtvolle Ausgabe, während der Großteil der Stiche von dem Kartografen Franz Hogenberg angefertigt wurde. Über hundert Künstler und Kartografen trugen zu diesem opulenten Werk bei, dessen exakte Planansichten die Städte vor ihrer Barockisierung zeigen« . In short : nearly 600 bird-views and general maps of cities from all over the world, long before Google Earth and -perhaps- of much better graphical quality (let’s take time to unfold the book online).

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