new urbanism and the city / 2014

Highly Recommended Books for urbanism in the year of 2014

1. Implosions/Explosions: Towards a Study of Planetary Urbanization
Neil Brenner (editor)
(Jovis Verlag, 2014)

In 1970, Henri Lefebvre put forward the radical hypothesis of the complete urbanization of society, a circumstance that in his view required a radical shift from the analysis of urban form to the investigation of urbanization processes. Drawing together classic and contemporary texts on the ‘urbanization question’, this book explores various theoretical, epistemological, methodological and political implications of Lefebvre’s hypothesis. It assembles a series of analytical and cartographic interventions that supersede inherited spatial ontologies (urban/rural, town/country, city/non-city, society/nature) in order to investigate the uneven implosions and explosions of capitalist urbanization across places, regions, territories, continents and oceans up to the planetary scale.

近年高调地在哈佛大学 Graduate school of design 开创了 Urban Theory Lab 的学者 Neil Brenner ,编辑了500 多页的 Implosions/Explosions ,集合近年最活跃的城市研究学者,以短文探讨何谓「全面都市化」 (planetary urbanization) 下的世界。这本书交由德国的 Jovis Verlag 出版,这出版社继前年出版精彩的 Urban Constellations 一书,再次带来印刷与设计俱极精美的重要都市理论读本。

2. The new urban question
Andy Merrifield
(Pluto Press, 2014)

The New Urban Question is an exuberant and illuminating adventure through our current global urban condition, tracing the connections between radical urban theory and political activism.

From Haussmann’s attempts to use urban planning to rid 19th-century Paris of workers revolution to the contemporary metropolis, including urban disaster-zones such as downtown Detroit, Merrifield reveals how the urban experience has been profoundly shaped by class antagonism and been the battle-ground for conspiracies, revolts and social eruptions.

Going beyond the work of earlier urban theorists such as Manuel Castells, Merrifield identifies the new urban question that has emerged and demands urgent attention, as the city becomes a site of active plunder by capital and the setting for new forms of urban struggle, from Occupy to the Indignados.

Andy Merrifield 是离开学院多年,但持续著书立说的独立学者,他是 David Harvey 的学生,也是重要的左翼都市理论学者。「新都市问题」显然是向 1979 年出版,社会学大师 Manuel Castells 的 The urban question 一书对话。35 年后,城市学从兴起到衰微再复兴,此书有标志性之余,也在意探讨这知识领域起落的意义。

3. Africa’s urban revolution
Susan Parnell & Edgar Pieterse (editors)
(Zed books, 2014)

The facts of Africa s rapid urbanisation are startling. By 2030 African cities will have grown by more than 350 million people and the continent will have surpassed the 50% urban mark. Yet, in the minds of policy makers, scholars and much of the general public, Africa remains a quintessential rural place. This lack of awareness and robust analysis means it is difficult to make a policy case for a more overtly urban agenda . As a result, there is, across the continent, insufficient urgency directed to responding to the challenges and opportunities associated with the world s last major wave of urbanisation.

Drawing on the expertise of scholars and practitioners associated with the African Centre for Cities, and utilising a diverse array of case studies, the book provides comprehensive insight into the key issues – demographic, cultural, political, technical, environmental and economic – surrounding African urbanization.

Guardian 和许多年度书单都有选上的 Radical Cities 一书,主力谈拉美城市的创新。另一个近年受关注、迅速都市化的大陆,定当是非洲,当中的特大城市 (megacities) 不断诞生,被认為是历史上最重要的都市革命之一。年前多有著作探试中非之间的政经关係,也是时候多认知非洲城市是何许模样。这本相关文集,就由两位一直研究这领域的学者所编。

4. Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China
Bianca Bosker
(University of Hawaii Press, 2013)
(中譯本:《誰把艾菲爾鐵塔搬到了中國》, 2014)

A 108-meter high Eiffel Tower rises above Champs Elysees Square in Hangzhou. A Chengdu residential complex for 200,000 recreates Dorchester, England. An ersatz Queen’s Guard patrols Shanghai’s Thames Town, where pubs and statues of Winston Churchill abound. Gleaming replicas of the White House dot Chinese cities from Fuyang to Shenzhen. These examples are but a sampling of China’s most popular and startling architectural movement: the construction of monumental themed communities that replicate towns and cities in the West. In recounting the untold and evolving story of China’s predilection for replicating the greatest architectural hits of the West, Bianca Bosker explores what this unprecedented experiment in duplitecture implies for the social, political, architectural, and commercial landscape of contemporary China. With her lively, authoritative narrative, the author shows us how, in subtle but important ways, these homes and public spaces shape the behavior of their residents, as they reflect the achievements, dreams, and anxieties of those who inhabit them, as well as those of their developers and designers.

5. Toward an Architecture of Enjoyment
Henri Lefebvre, Lukasz Stanek (Editor)
(University Of Minnesota Press, 2014)

為人熟知、書寫空間理論的法國哲學家 Henri Lefebvre ,著作近年不斷被發掘再出版。瑞士學者 Lukasz Stanek 在 Lefebvre 的文獻遺產中,找到未出版過的,他唯一專門討論建築的著作,當中論及以「快感」作為建築想像的內涵,與近年多被題及的都市想像力,不謀而合。

6. Buildings Must Die: A Perverse View of Architecture
Stephen Cairns & Jane M Jacobs
(MIT press, 2014)

Buildings, although inanimate, are often assumed to have “life.” And the architect, through the act of design, is assumed to be their conceiver and creator. But what of the “death” of buildings? What of the decay, deterioration, and destruction to which they are inevitably subject? And what might such endings mean for architecture’s sense of itself? In Buildings Must Die, Stephen Cairns and Jane Jacobs look awry at core architectural concerns. They examine spalling concrete and creeping rust, contemplate ruins old and new, and pick through the rubble of earthquake-shattered churches, imploded housing projects, and demolished Brutalist office buildings. Their investigation of the death of buildings reorders architectural notions of creativity, reshapes architecture’s preoccupation with good form, loosens its vanities of durability, and expands its sense of value. It does so not to kill off architecture as we know it, but to rethink its agency and its capacity to make worlds differently. Cairns and Jacobs offer an original contemplation of architecture that draws on theories of waste and value. Their richly illustrated case studies of building “deaths” include the planned and the unintended, the lamented and the celebrated. They take us from Moline to Christchurch, from London to Bangkok, from Tokyo to Paris. And they feature the work of such architects as Eero Saarinen, Carlo Scarpa, Cedric Price, Arata Isozaki, Rem Koolhaas and Francois Roche. Buildings Must Die is both a memento mori for architecture and a call to to reimagine the design values that lay at the heart of its creative purpose.

這本迷人的都市理論,把我們慣常對城市和建築的焦點,從發展和興建的角度,轉向它物質上必然衰老和永恆地需要維護、甚至變成廢物的一面。

7. Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space
Keller Easterling
(Verso, 2014)

“An extraordinary guidebook to the politics of infrastructure in the contemporary world.” –Stephen Graham, author of Cities Under Siege Extrastatecraft controls everyday life in the city: it’s the key to power – and resistance – in the twenty-first century.

Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us – free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government.

Keller Easterling explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world – examining everything from standards for the thinness of credit cards to the urbanism of mobile telephony, the world’s largest shared platform, to the “free zone,” the most virulent new world city paradigm. In conclusion, she proposes some unexpected techniques for resisting power in the modern world.

Extrastatecraft will change the way we think about urban spaces – and how we live in them.

承接近年關於都市探祕和隱密空間的討論與著作,這本書也希望轉移我們思考城市的角度——從外層轉移都決定城市如何運作的基建空間。Keller Easterling 是在耶魯大學建築系任教的學者,也是近年最活躍的城市學公共知識份子之一。

8. Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies
Alastair Bonnett
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

A tour of the world’s hidden geographies—from disappearing islands to forbidden deserts—and a stunning testament to how mysterious the world remains today

At a time when Google Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite’s remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it’s hard to imagine there’s any uncharted ground left on the planet. In Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination.

Bonnett’s remarkable tour includes moving villages, secret cities, no man’s lands, and floating islands. He explores places as disorienting as Sandy Island, an island included on maps until just two years ago despite the fact that it never existed. Or Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, issuing passports and crowning his wife as a princess. Or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where walking from the grocery store’s produce section to the meat counter can involve crossing national borders.

An intrepid guide down the road much less traveled, Bonnett reveals that the most extraordinary places on earth might be hidden in plain sight, just around the corner from your apartment or underfoot on a wooded path. Perfect for urban explorers, wilderness ramblers, and armchair travelers struck by wanderlust, Unruly Places will change the way you see the places you inhabit.

地理學家 Alastair Bonnett 出名文筆好,散文每有詩意,這本書特意書寫在仿似一切都有高度透明度的年代裡,秘密和「古怪」的空間。

地理學家 Alastair Bonnett 出名文筆好,散文每有詩意,這本書特意書寫在仿似一切都有高度透明度的年代裡,秘密和「古怪」的空間。

9. Empower! Essays On The Political Economy Of Urban Form Vol.3
Rainer Hehl & Marc Angelil (editors)
(Ruby Press, 2014)

In 2006, Frere-Jones became the first American to receive the Gerrit Noordzij prize, presented by the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, in honour of his unique contributions to type design, typography and type education. Responsible for almost 50 font designs, Frere-Jones irrepressible investigations are heavily influenced by older American typography and signage. This publication documents his different font types and is accompanied by essays and observations and photographs taken from the designers archives, all presented in a fittingly well-designed edition.

這系列小書,都是易讀的短文集,是認識城市政治經濟學的理想讀物,每一本都以有趣的主題輯文,vol. 1 名為 ‘informalize!’ ,vol. 2 名為 ‘collectivize’ ,2014 年出版的 vol 3. 名為 ’empower!’ 。書印得精美,由新起的獨立出版社 Ruby Press 出版,值得支持。

10. 《城市造反》&《反造城市》
侯志仁
(左岸文化, 2013)

從突尼西亞到埃及,從占領華爾街到占領土耳其的廣場,從北半球的香港到南半球巴西,城市造反事件如野火燎原般席捲全球。這股從城市點燃的人民之火向我們指引了前方的道路。我們想問的是,人民的力量如何參與新公共空間的建立,又如何打破權力者與既得利益者的城市想望?在新一波的公民行動中,對城市空間的改造如何能夠帶給社會關係、政治過程和文化認同新的解答?

《城市造反》從世界各地,收錄了十一個特色各異的社區營造實例,試圖提出更兼容並蓄的非典型都市規劃術。透過各地的城市造反實錄,瞭解當地民眾與專業者,在面對僵化的都市建設時,所從事的抵抗、反制與自力救濟,更重要的是重新營造一個更多元、開放的城市。

既然人類許諾生活在一起,演化出「城市」這樣的人群形態,我們便應讓城市不僅僅是空間上的地理單位,還能名符其實,展現眾人群居的意義和價值,不論是對環境的尊重、對鄰人的共享、對民主的追求……

「造反」不是一種態度,不為反對而反對,「反」是改變,是可能性,是指引的方向,由邊緣改造中央的具體行動,人民的行動足以「反過來造就」更有機、更正義、更有活力的都市。

在華盛頓大學當地景建築學系系主任的 Jeffrey Hou 非常有心,把他對由下而上建造城市的理論論述和案例成書,交由台灣出版社出版,不直接翻譯已寫成的英文著作,而是重編兩冊中文書。這種來回於英文學術和華文出版界的公共知識份子,對推廣城市研究的普及化,貢獻良多。

以上介紹的多為城市理論及學術出版,以下多包納一些跨界的文本,包括在國際受關注、與都市相關的展覽,紀錄片,以及比較為大眾市場而寫的普及書籍,例如是旅遊指南。另外,下篇介紹的十個文本,也較側重城市研究的藝文面向與及由下而上創造城市的實踐,同時加入了一本關於香港的書。

11. Tent City Urbanism: From Self-Organized Camps to Tiny House Villages
Heben Andrew
(the Village Collaborative, 2014)

Tent City Urbanism explores the intersection of the “tiny house movement” and tent cities organized by the homeless to present an accessible and sustainable housing paradigm that can improve the quality of life for everyone.

While tent cities tend to evoke either sympathy or disgust, the author finds such informal settlements actually address many of the shortfalls of more formal responses to homelessness. Tent cities often exemplify self-management, direct democracy, tolerance, mutual aid, and resourceful strategies for living with less. This book presents a vision for how cities can constructively build upon these positive dynamics rather than continuing to seek evictions and pay the high costs of policing homelessness.

The tiny house village provides a path forward to transitional and affordable housing within the grasp of a local community. It offers a bottom-up approach to the provision of shelter that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable–both for the individual and the city. The concept was first pioneered by Portland’s Dignity Village, and has since been re-imagined by Eugene’s Opportunity Village and Olympia’s Quixote Village. Now this innovative model has emerged from the Northwest to inspire projects in Madison, Austin, and Ithaca, and is being pursued by advocacy groups throughout the country.

Along with documenting and articulating the roots of this budding movement, the book provides a practical guide to help catalyze new and existing initiatives in other areas.

這本「奇書」對經歷過雨傘運動後的香港人可能特別吸引,它探討了美國無家者以帳蓬創村運動,如何帶動了另類住屋和建村的想像。不用多解釋,此書對香港異常 relevant 。

12. The Acoustic City
Matthew Gandy & Benny Nilsen (Editors)
(Jovis Verlag, 2014)

The book is comprised of five thematic sections: sound mappings, sound cultures, the recording of urban sounds and acoustic ecology.

Matthew Gandy 是我最喜歡的城市研究學者,經常帶來新的跨學科嘗試,這本他與 Benny Nilsen 所編的文集裡,文章作者有來自藝術界、學界和聲音專業的人,隨書還有一張唱片光碟,補文字的不足。

13. Blue urbanism: Exploring Connections Between Cities and Oceans
Timothy Beatley
(Island Press, 2014)

What would it mean to live in cities designed to foster feelings of connectedness to the ocean? As coastal cities begin planning for climate change and rising sea levels, author Timothy Beatley sees opportunities for rethinking the relationship between urban development and the ocean. Modern society is more dependent upon ocean resources than people are commonly aware of—from oil and gas extraction to wind energy, to the vast amounts of fish harvested globally, to medicinal compounds derived from sea creatures, and more. In Blue Urbanism, Beatley argues that, given all we’ve gained from the sea, city policies, plans, and daily urban life should acknowledge and support a healthy ocean environment.

The book explores issues ranging from urban design and land use, to resource extraction and renewable energy, to educating urbanites about the wonders of marine life. Beatley looks at how emerging practices like “community supported fisheries” and aquaponics can provide a sustainable alternative to industrial fishing practices. Other chapters delve into incentives for increasing use of wind and tidal energy as renewable options to oil and gas extraction that damages ocean life, and how the shipping industry is becoming more “green.” Additionally, urban citizens, he explains, have many opportunities to interact meaningfully with the ocean, from beach cleanups to helping scientists gather data.

While no one city “has it all figured out,” Beatley finds evidence of a changing ethic in cities around the world: a marine biodiversity census in Singapore, decreasing support for shark-finning in Hong Kong, “water plazas” in Rotterdam, a new protected area along the rocky shore of Wellington, New Zealand, “bluebelt” planning in Staten Island, and more. Ultimately he explains we must create a culture of “ocean literacy” using a variety of approaches, from building design and art installations that draw inspiration from marine forms, to encouraging citizen volunteerism related to oceans, to city-sponsored research, and support for new laws that protect marine health.

Equal parts inspiration and practical advice for urban planners, ocean activists, and policymakers, Blue Urbanism offers a comprehensive look at the challenges and great potential for urban areas to integrate ocean health into their policy and planning goals.

此書大概專為生活在海港城市的人、或同時喜歡城市與海洋而寫,論及倚海而建的城市,在設計和運作上的獨特性。

14. Kowloon Cultural District: An Investigation into Spatial Capabilities in Hong Kong
Esther Lorenz & Shiqiao Li
(MCCM creations, 2014)

This book declares the existing Kowloon as a “cultural district” already in formation, constituting a parallel proposal to Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District project. In a three-fold approach comprised of the Cabinet of Curiosities, Archives, and Retrievals, it documents indigenous practices and spaces, reformulates them through architectural proposals, and links them to a broader context through reflection in essays.

這本書名字故意喚作「九龍文化區」,由兩位在 University of Virginia 建築系任教的學者所寫,在西九文化區拔地而起之時,他們研究在這附近的「原生」 (indigenous) 文化實踐和創造力,可啟發什麼比較在地的建設計劃。

15. Citi x 60: 60 Creatives Show You the Best of the City (Paris, New York, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Tokyo)
Viction Workshop
(Victionary, 2014)

Local artists guide you through the best in architecture, culture and art as well as the culinary, shopping and nightlife scenes of Barcelona in Victionarys interactive guide. The creatives recommendations include visiting Gaud’s still in-progress masterpiece La Sagrada Familia, touring Barcelonas naval museum, Museu Martim, rummaging the shelves of magazines, monographs, portfolios, catalogs and handbooks at Kowasa, and eating tapas and drinking wine at the Gothic Quarters wine house, Bodega La Palma.

這是一套六本,非常精美的城市旅遊指南,它所選的城市,都是被公認為最有魅力(雖然最「大路」的地方),每本小書都讓六十位住在當地、在裡面工作的「文化人」推薦他們最喜歡的城市角落,絕不落俗套。讓人欣喜的是,香港三聯同步取得了這套書的中文版權,讓我們可在大部份書店找到這六本小書。

16. Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age (展覽圖錄)
Alona Pardo (Curator & catalogue editor)
(Prestel, 2014) An exhibition at Barbican
http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=16264

The relationship between architecture and photography is the focus of this book that features the work of eighteen influential artists, from the 1930s to the present day. Architecture has long been a subject matter for photographers, who utilize the medium not just to document the built world, but also to reveal wider truths about society. This book features chapters devoted to various artists–among them, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Ed Ruscha, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Iwan Baan–and includes 220 color and duotone images. Each chapter opens with a text introducing the artists’ work, followed by reproductions of their photographs. Arranged chronologically, the book documents the birth of the skyscraper against the backdrop of the Great Depression; the rise of the modernist tradition in America, post-colonial Africa, and India; the effects of industry on 1960s Europe; the increasing suburbanization of America and Europe; and the consequences of today’s mass urbanization in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Far-reaching and penetrating, this volume reflects on the ongoing dialogue between photography and architecture.

兩個今年富深度而有趣的、與城市相關的展覽,定必包括倫敦Barbican探討建築攝影的專題展,它的題旨是,拍攝空間的方法,深刻地影響了我們感知和創造空間的想法。

17. Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities (展覽圖錄)
(The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014) An exhibition at MoMA, New York
http://uneven-growth.moma.org/

The relationship between architecture and photography is the focus of this book that features the work of eighteen influential artists, from the 1930s to the present day. Architecture has long been a subject matter for photographers, who utilize the medium not just to document the built world, but also to reveal wider truths about society. This book features chapters devoted to various artists–among them, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Ed Ruscha, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky and Iwan Baan–and includes 220 color and duotone images. Each chapter opens with a text introducing the artists’ work, followed by reproductions of their photographs. Arranged chronologically, the book documents the birth of the skyscraper against the backdrop of the Great Depression; the rise of the modernist tradition in America, post-colonial Africa, and India; the effects of industry on 1960s Europe; the increasing suburbanization of America and Europe; and the consequences of today’s mass urbanization in Asia, the Middle East, and South America. Far-reaching and penetrating, this volume reflects on the ongoing dialogue between photography and architecture.

另一個大受談論和關注的,是在紐約現代藝術館,深入探討「城市不均發展」的展覽,帶來六個大城市應付人口暴增和貧富不均時,所取的策略,其中也多介紹非正規住屋的問題。Tactical Urbanism 這術語發展多年,終於進入主流和政策話語之中。

18. Human Scale (Documentary)

Andreas Møl Dalsgaard (Dir.)
http://thehumanscale.dk/

也介紹兩齣紀錄片。來自丹麥 Human Scale 引介了著名的都市規劃學者 Jan Gehl 的思想,Gehl 著重行人感受、人本的城市規劃實踐,近十數年大受讚揚,這齣影片可說來得太遲了!

19. Growing Cities (Documentary)
Dan Susman (Dir.)
http://www.growingcitiesmovie.com/

Growing Cities 的製作團隊走遍美國不同城市,追訪形形式式的都市農耕的實踐和抗爭,整全地介紹全美國不同城市,都有有心人希望改變食物生產和運送,跟自己居住之地的關係。本片在當下當然對香港也很有參考價值。

20. Good Cities, Better Lives: How Europe Discovered the Lost Art of Urbanism
Peter Hall
(Routledge, 2013)

This book has one central theme: how, in the United Kingdom, can we create better cities and towns in which to live and work and play? What can we learn from other countries, especially our near neighbours in Europe? And, in turn, can we provide lessons for other countries facing similar dilemmas?

Urban Britain is not functioning as it should. Social inequalities and regional disparities show little sign of going away. Efforts to generate growth, and spread it to the poorer areas of cities, have failed dismally. Much new urban development and redevelopment is not up to standard. Yet there are cities in mainland Europe, which have set new standards of high-quality sustainable urban development. This book looks at these best-practice examples – in Germany, the Netherlands, France and Scandinavia, – and suggests ways in which the UK and other countries could do the same.

The book is in three parts. Part 1 analyses the main issues for urban planning and development – in economic development and job generation, sustainable development, housing policy, transport and development mechanisms – and probes how practice in the UK has fallen short.

Part Two embarks on a tour of best-practice cities in Europe, starting in Germany with the country’s boosting of its cities’ economies, moving to the spectacularly successful new housing developments in the Netherlands, from there to France’s integrated city transport, then to Scandinavia’s pursuit of sustainability for its cities, and finally back to Germany, to Freiburg – the city that ‘did it all’.

Part Three sums up the lessons of Part Two and sets out the key steps needed to launch a new wave of urban development and regeneration on a radically different basis.

最後,選上此書,是為了特別向本年離世的學者 Peter Hall 致敬,這是他最後一本著作,在去年底面世。如果說 Peter Hall 是英國最重要的城市規劃學者,他一定當之無愧,尤其是他對城市重建研究著力極深,為英國帶來不少成功的城市重建案例。這本書綜合了他多年來的思考,先談當代城市每每遇上的問題,再說明不同歐洲城市如何創出較好的方法處理一籃子的問題,理性的進路反映了 Peter Hall 堅信的理念,也是二十世紀最大的遺產:好的城市,通過規劃,能造就好的生活——看來如斯簡單,卻又窮上許多代人的生命,思索如何落實。

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