For the Guardian, Chris Hall reviews All Over the Map: Writing on Buildings and Cities by Michael Sorkin, "a flâneur with a sense of public purpose." The incisive critique of contemporary architecture by "America's most outspoken architect ... doesn't pull punches."
Hall points out how Sorkin questions the triumphal nature of the planned Ground Zero memorial in New York. Instead, Sorkin calls for "open, public space that encourages 'peaceable assembly'":
He is undistracted by the false debate about which was the best design in the Ground Zero competition, questioning the very idea that there must be buildings to replace those lost and looking at the wider context of the ecology of Lower Manhattan and beyond.
Sorkin's book, however, is not just about New York: "his critical thinking has wider implications," notes Hall. This is evident in the author's Manifesto: Twelve Qualities for Eutopian Cities, with which the book ends:
He argues for sustainable, bounded, polycentric and diverse cities, and is most interested, as someone who has long specialised in city planning, on "work at a scale that can genuinely be judged for its public arrangements and effects" rather than on individual buildings.
Visit the Guardian to read the review in full.