The City in History by Lewis Mumford

In¬†this book from 1961 Lewis¬†Mumford (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Mumford) argues for a world not in which technology reigns, but rather in which it achieves a balance with nature. His ideal vision is what can be described as an ‘organic city’, where culture is not usurped by technological innovation but rather thrives with it. Mumford contrasts these cities with those constructed around wars, tyrants, poverty, etc. The book is not an attack on the city, but rather an evaluation of its growth, how it came to be, and where it is heading, as evidenced by the final chapter ‘Retrospect and Prospect’. This landmark work of scholarship was highly influential and should not be missed.

For present day discussion on this subject, listen to the 2 R4 ‘In Our Time’ podcasts available at¬† http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rfhx2¬†With Peter Hall¬†– Professor of Planning and Regeneration at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL; Julia Merritt¬†– Associate Professor of History at the University of Nottingham; Greg Woolfis Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews.

and¬†¬† http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rp1fd¬†With Peter Hall¬†– Professor of Planning and Regeneration at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL; Tristram Hunt –¬†lecturer in History at Queen Mary College at the University of London; and Ricky Burdett –¬†Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics.

657 pages in Harcourt Brace International Press paperback edition

ISBN 978-0156180351

Lewis Mumford

Scroll to Top