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From the acclaimed landscape designer, historian and author of American Eden, a lively, unique, and accessible cultural history of modern citiesfrom suburbs, downtown districts, and exurban sprawl, to shopping malls and sustainable developmentsthat allows us to view them through the planning, design, architects, and movements that inspired, created, and shaped them.
Dream Cities explores our cities in a new wayas expressions of ideas, often conflicting, about how we should live, work, play, make, buy, and believe. It tells the stories of the real architects and thinkers whose imagined cities became the blueprints for the world we live in.
From the nineteenth century to today, what began as visionary conceptssometimes utopian, sometimes outlandish, always controversialwere gradually adopted and constructed on a massive scale in cities around the world, from Dubai to Ulan Bator to London to Los Angeles. Wade Graham uses the lives of the pivotal dreamers behind these concepts, as well as their acolytes and antagonists, to deconstruct our urban landscapesthe houses, towers, civic centers, condominiums, shopping malls, boulevards, highways, and spaces in betweenexposing the ideals and ideas embodied in each.
From the baroque fantasy villages of Bertram Goodhue to the superblocks of Le Corbusiers Radiant City to the pseudo-agrarian dispersal of Frank Lloyd Wrights Broadacre City, our upscale leafy suburbs, downtown skyscraper districts, infotainment-driven shopping malls, and sustainable eco-developments are seen as never before. In this elegantly designed and illustrated book, Graham uncovers the original plans of brilliant, obsessed, and sometimes megalomaniacal designers, revealing the foundations of todays varied municipalities. Dream Cities is nothing less than a field guide to our modern urban world.
Illustrated with 59 black-and-white photos throughout the text.