After demolishing the myth of the rock star architect with his book Against Architecture, Franco La Cecla now explores the decisive challenges that cities are going to have to confront in the near future. Urban planning and development has become increasingly inadequate in response to the daily realities of life in our cities. Human, economic, ethnic, and environmental factors are systematically overlooked in city planning and housing development, and anachronistic, sterile, and formalistic architecture almost invariably prevails. Meanwhile, our cities grow out of internal impulses, not only in slums and favelas but through the pressing needs for public spaces which have sprung forth in great events and movements such as Istanbul’s Gezi Park and Occupy Wall Street. Never more than today has democracy played itself out in public spaces, sidewalks, and streets. Urban planners and developers, however, are still prisoners of an obsolete vision of passivity which betrays actual city needs and demands. A new urban science is required which can, first of all, guarantee a civil, dignified life for all—urban development which ensures the right to a humane mode of daily living, which has been and still is completely ignored.
Against Urbanism by Franco La Cecla
Translated by Mairin O’Mahony
PM Press 2020