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The Endless City Hardcover – 25 Jan 2008

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (25 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714848204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714848204
  • Product Dimensions: 22.2 x 5.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


It's an urban jungle out there: a two-page spread of Berlin from Phaidon's The Endless City (h/b, 12th March, £35), edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic. The photographic urban studies title seeks to analyse the 'relentless' migration from rural areas to the city by focusing on London, New York, Shanghai, Berlin, Mexico City and Johannesburg. The book was overseen by The London School of Economics and written in conjunction with the Urban Age Project, an international organisation that investigates the future of cities. There are more than 30 contributors, including architect Rem Koolhaas, sociologist Richard Sennett and deputy mayor of London Nicky Gavron.
The Bookseller

'A scholarly study of urban development … while The Endless City is packed with statistics and terms like 'dense compact city with traditional perimeter housing', the facts are broken up and made palatable by stunning images that demonstrate what the statistics and jargon actually mean. … This book will help you understand what 'social diversity' really is'
Dazed & Confused

'A 500-page tour de force.'
Washington Post Writers Group

'The sheer scope of this book, with nearly 35 contributors, is magnificent--covering topics from global capitals and employment dynamics to 'vertical ghettos' and satellite photos of 'urban grain.'

'Photographs, diagrams, and statistics add up to a captivating, if alarming, portrayal of metropolitan life in the twenty-first century.'
Condé Nast Traveler

About the Author

Ricky Burdett is Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism at the London School of Economics and Director of the Urban Age. He is an adviser on architecture to the Mayor of London, the BBC and the Tate, and is the Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism to the London Olympic Delivery Authority. He was also Director of the Venice Architecture Biennale (2006).

Dejan Sudjic is Director of the Design Museum, London and a former Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture at Kingston University. He was previously editor of Blueprint and Domus magazines, and Director of 'Glasgow 1999: UK City of Architecture and Design' and the Venice Architecture Biennale (2002). Former architecture critic for the Observer, he has written several books, including The 100 Mile City (1992), and John Pawson Works and Future Systems, published by Phaidon.

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By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a paperback reprint of the hardback published in 2007. Based on an extensive series of events, it focuses on six cities to discuss urbanism in the 21st century.

Phaidon have done a superb job with this book, it is printed on good quality paperstock, I only spotted a couple of minor typos, the book is easy to read, no jarring changes of style or terminology, the use of photos and graphics to support the underlying points is exemplary. All in all, this is a very classy book that is worth paying for.

There are a couple of minus points, whenever I buy a large book from Amazon these days it always arrives a bit battered, the book still talks about Ken Livingstone as London mayor and the forthcoming Beijing Olympics, and predates the current credit crunch. It does stick to a single narrative about cities, the long term sustainability of cities is not really covered, while environmentalism feels a bit tagged on and out of date. It does not really touch on failed cities, like Detroit. The contributions by Rem Koolhas and Herzog and de Meuron are interesting, but very short, not enough to justify a purchase.

Similarly it is not really a book about Coventry or Dagenham, this is about the real big cities, cities that dominate a continent. The thesis being that in the 21st century the major actors will not be people, but cities, and if you can get the city right, then everything else will follow.

There are probably better introductions to urbanism, The City Reader (Routledge Urban Reader) (Routledge Urban Reader Series) and of course
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a wonderful book, so imformative and interesting to boot. This is no lightweight book, not so much in content but in actual weight. A great one for the coffee table. P.S. if you are studying social geography or just want to understand what's going on else where then this is the book for you
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Format: Paperback
Having read other reviews I was expecting to be wowed by the graphics but there wasn't that much to get excited about. Don't get me wrong what was in there in terms of infographics was good but there just wasn't enough of them, the majority of spreads were just straight text & images.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice volume around recent trends in global urbanization. 9 Mar. 2010
By Daniel Lobo - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Compiling the materials from the Urban Age Project lecture series, it offers a compendium of most of the London School of Economics' urban thinking of the last decade. It has some shortcomings, but ultimately offers a nice emphasis on urban environments as a complex compendium of physical and social entities with an emphasis on density analysis, and surely represents a particular and influential discourse.

I would like to clarify that since I graduated from one of their early programs 10 years ago this feels rather close, and I'm equally grateful for the influence it had in my thinking but also my criticism may also be part of a broader experience around how the LSE develops these intellectual explorations.

The book offers an interesting and important approach to the notion that an urban shift in population is the defining trend of our age. A series of takes on world cities that were the focus of the lectures articulates half of the book with some interesting pieces, although the choice and representation of these enclaves could be questioned, and surely there are some glaring omissions that would add a much needed depth to the debate.

A collection of short essays representing some issues follows. While there is some interesting material it feels a bit perfunctory with a list of usual suspects and little debate. Likewise the final sections on interventions and positions feel like a brief collection of case studies that barely illustrate with enough depth what the project tries to get at.

However the book works well as in introduction, or expansion for some readers, to offer a common ground in important contemporary urban issues. Depth is what one will not find here, but to be fair it may not be what they had in mind, and as an introduction it is hefty enough. Maybe too hefty for something that feels at time like a perfunctory compilation. But on a personal level I feel that much has not changed and where the volume lacks the most is in offering an actual critical arena, or the tools to expand a debate that by its own nature feels often too controlled and predictable.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Picture Book with Real Substance 18 April 2009
By S. F. Elliott - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had great expectations for this book and they were fulfilled. Beyond the outstanding visual communication I was pleased to find myself fully reading the written portions and valuing them. The writing was not just fluff and filler. Thank you for advancing my knowledge and producing a wonderful addition to my library.

- Steve
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rapidly changing world 21 Jun. 2008
By King's Gambit - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent work that alerts and informs. The quality of life on this planet is changing rapidly. The way we used to live in communities that interfaced with nature is a rare and rapidly vanishing privilige.
Endless City is a serious study that is easily read. Well done to the LSE group.
7 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must read for urban planners! 28 April 2008
By Donald Hsu - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mega cities: New York, London, Shanghai, Mexico City, Johannesburg, Berlin, are undergoing major transitions. Shanghai is increasing leaps and bounds, yet Johannesburg is shrinking. People are migrating to the city for jobs and clearly it is a global trend. By 2015, Lagos may have more people than Mumbai. With discount airlines, internet and globalization, it is easier to move to another city. European Union now has 27 countries, 500 million people. Where do they go? London, Paris or Berlin? Greater Tokyo will have 54 million, Euro-Lowlands (Ruhr-Cologne, Amsterdam-Rotterdam, Brussels-Antwerp, Lille) will get 50 million, Urb-Italy (Milan, Rome, Turin) gets 47 million, etc. A taconomy of towers, green city, build a community, public space, etc are urgent issues facing the increasing population of the mega cities.

I have traveled to most of these cities. I do agree with the findings of this book, "people are moving to mega cities in every country". For countries such as Japan and Germany, there was little increase in population. Many cities in East Germany now appear to be ghost towns. The government needs to change its policy, allowing more immigrants. Since the birth rates in these two countries are very low, immigration is the only way to increase populations. With more people, government will get more tax revenues and the economy will grow.

The book will be better if it covers cities such as Paris, Frankfurt, Stockholm, etc. Eastern Europe is not included at all due to the lack of mega cities.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great data and comparison 4 Mar. 2009
By Bei Jiang - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The best part of the book is its data resource. When they compare the 6 mega cities with good graphic data, the result is really compelling. I sent this book as a gift to my boss, also recommend to my Chinese colleagues. Hope next edition could make a smaller one so it's easier to carry and read.
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