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Cities in Transition

Author: Deborah Hauptmann
Published: 2011

Cities in Transition is the third volume in the Stylos Critical Landscape series* issued by the Faculty of Architecture of Delft University of Technology. This richly illustrated book deals with the effects of globalization and internationalization in relation to urbanism and critical assessments in contemporary theory. The book brings together internationally known authors from different countries such as the USA, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. A diversity of critical positions on spatial and social questions is discussed on an international level. The theme of globalization is queried on the relation of urban and port developments in Tokyo’s Bay Area and Rotterdam. Cities have historically provided national economies, politics and societies we can think of as centralized. In several of the contributions this aspect is examined as if from the viewpoint of the flâneur, a creature of the metropolis, a Parisian creation above all. As for their present day economic function, cities provide agglomeration economies, massive concentration of information on the latest developments. How do economic globalization and the new technologies alter the role of centrality and hence of cities as economic entities? And how has modernism’s virtually canonical belief in resistance through autonomy now altered in the minds of the architects and urban designers of today? Recent design theories have tended towards capitulation with their cultural sponsors and taken a decisive position against autonomy, accepting a certain determination from forces outside architecture and urbanism. The book argues for a new reflexivity related to both an economic and a cultural understanding of our present day world system.

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