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Restless Cities

Leading writers reimagine the city as a site of ceaseless change and motion.
The metropolis is a site of endless making and unmaking. From the attempt to imagine a ‘city-symphony’ to the cinematic tradition that runs from Walter Ruttmann to Terence Davies, Restless Cities traces the idiosyncratic character of the metropolitan city from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first-century megalopolis. With explorations of phenomena including nightwalking, urbicide, property, commuting and recycling, this wide-ranging new book identifies and traces the patterns that have defined everyday life in the modern city and its effect on us as individuals. Bringing together some of the most significant cultural writers of our time, Restless Cities is an illuminating, revelatory journey to the heart of our metropolitan world.
With contributions by Marshall Berman, Kasia Boddy, Iain Borden, Rachel Bowlby, Geoff Dyer, Patrick Keiller, Esther Leslie, Michael Newton, Chris Petit, Michael Sayeau, Michael Sheringham, Iain Sinclair, David Trotter, and Mark W. Turner

Reviews

  • “A culturally and historically rich illumination of the city in all its complexity.”
  • “A richly alternative guide to city living.”
  • “A gem of a book, by turns inspiring, shocking and consistently intelligent.”
  • “Bold and admirable.”
  • “Fresh and piquant observations about aspects of modern living.”

Blog

  • Architecture and Cities Reading



    As the cost of housing continues to rise and affordable housing remains scarce, we face a global housing crisis of epic proportions. Our cities are now a geographic representation of the widening wealth gap, with the rich moving upwards into sky-high luxury living, and the poor being pushed further and further out. Architecture reflects and reinforces divisions with ever greater brazenness.


    This housing crisis has deep political and economic roots—requiring a more radical response than ever before. Familiarise yourself with the geography of inequality, politics, and identity with these books on our modern cities. 

    Our Architecture and Cities reading is all 50% off, with free shipping and bundled ebooks (where available), until the end of the year. See here for more sale details.

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  • Cities and Architecture Undergraduate Reading List




    How might cities be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways? And how they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance?
    As the housing crisis worsens in cities across the world and the inequalities of urban environments become more pronounced, a radical approach to city planning and urban development becomes even more vital and necessary. 

    This school year get inspired by this reading list of books that propose new ways to reimagine the city and underline the need for progressive architectural and planning alternatives.

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  • "Cities, like cats, will reveal themselves at night" - an extract from Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London

    Extract from Nightwalking: A Nocturnal History of London by Matthew Beaumont

    In the dead of night, in spite of the electric lights and the remnants of nightlife, London is an alien city, especially if you are strolling through its lanes and thoroughfares alone.


    In the more sequestered streets, once the pubs are closed, and at a distance from the twenty-four-hour convenience stores, the sodium gleam of the street lamps, or the flickering strip-light from a soporific minicab stand, offers little consolation. There are alleys and street corners and shop entrances where the darkness appears to collect in a solid, faintly palpitating mass. There are secluded squares where, to appropriate a haunting line from a poem by Shelley, night makes ‘a weird sound of its own stillness’. There are buildings, monuments and statues that, at a distance, and in the absence of people, pulsate mysteriously in the sepulchral light. There are foxes that slope and trot across the road, in a single motion, as you interrupt their half-shameful, half-defiant attempts to pillage scraps from upended bins. And, from time to time, there are the faintly sinister silhouettes of other solitary, perhaps homeless, individuals – as threatened by your presence, no doubt, as you are by theirs. ‘However efficiently artificial light annihilates the difference between night and day’, Al Alvarez has commented, ‘it never wholly eliminates the primitive suspicion that night people are up to no good.’


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Other books Edited by Matthew Beaumont and Gregory Dart