Radical Urban Theory: writings on the modern urban condition
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table of contents

Back to the Future of the Creative City: Amsterdam’s Creative Redevelopment and the Art of Deception

Merijn Oudenampsen

Amsterdam’s Creative City policy — far from intending to make the city’s entire population more creative — is predominantly a branding exercise, an expression of a much more general shift towards entrepreneurial modes of city government.

Suburban Nation (book excerpt)

Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck

The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream.

Beyond Sprawl

Bank of America

The Bank of America’s ballyhood denunciation of suburban sprawl: “New patterns of growth to fit the new California.

Up Above: The Geography of Suburban Sprawl in Southern California’s Antelope Valley

Matthew Jalbert

The perils of sprawl development on the edge of the Mojave Desert, 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

Metropolitan Dubai and the Rise of Architectural Fantasy

George Katodrytis

In Dubai there is little difference between holiday accommodation and housing. Architectural programs are becoming fused and undifferentiated. The morphology of the landscape and sea-scape is becoming fabricated to the point that it may soon be difficult to differentiate between the natural and the constructed.

Crime Rave

Anthony Platt

Law-and-order demagoguery.


Mike Davis

Build it in Southern California's foothills, and it will burn.

Let Malibu Burn

Mike Davis

A political history of the Fire Coast.

Panama Lost?

Photographer Lorena Endara explores the landscape and processes that shape Panama, as it succumbs to fast food restaurants, Hollywood films, and shopping malls.

Architect Joshua Prince-Ramus on the Seattle Public Library: TED Conference 2006

See an amazing video podcast of rising star architect Joshua Prince-Ramus that the TED conference just posted on the new Podcasting site TEDTalks.

Special from Exuberance.com

Suburban Sprawl Panoramic Photos

For your consideration: panoramic (extra extra wide) photographs of suburban sprawl developments around California.

suburban sprawl photos

sprawl photos

National Architects Group Censors Prison Critics

After all the controversy surrounding the graphic pictures of prisoner abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, you would hardly expect a photo of the prison’s blank exterior walls to cause much of a furor. But that’s the image excluded from the “Exploring Prisons as a Design, Ethical, and Social Policy Issue” panel to be held this Thursday, June 8, 2006, at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Convention in Los Angeles.


Celebration, Florida

Stereography of Celebration: Perspective and virtual happiness

Pascale Pressicaud

Getting to know the real Celebration, Florida would have the same effect as understanding the consequences of visual impair on the author's psychological make up.

Blockology: An Offbeat Walking Guide to Lower Manhattan (book excerpt)

Robert Jay Kaufman

A one-of-a-kind guide that celebrates the experience of exploring Lower Manhattan through its history, people and architecture.

'Burbs, Blockbusting, and Blacks

Matthew Jalbert

Morphosis of the post-war American city.

House of Cards

Mike Davis

Las Vegas: Too many people in the wrong place, celebrating waste as a way of life.

When The Rivers Ran Dry

Mike Davis

We may be the most reckless and suicidal overconsumers of water in world history.

The Incendiary Other

Mike Davis

The 1993 Malibu firestorms opened a Pandora's box of fear.

World Fire, vol. 4, Cycle of Fire

Mike Davis

Anthropogenic fire is more than a tool, it is a conscious geological power.

Dark Raptures

Mike Davis

A consumer's guide to the destruction of Los Angeles.

Monsters and Messiahs

Mike Davis

Too often we equate wildness with urban disorder.

Learning From Tijuana

Mike Davis

The art of ADOBE L.A.

Runaway Train Crushes Buses

Mike Davis

Los Angeles County's Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the biggest transportation fiasco in modern American history.

Kajima's Throne of Blood

Mike Davis

A struggle against an arrogant empire with a dark history, known as Kajima.

Hell factories in the field

Mike Davis

A prison-industrial complex.

Beyond Blade Runner

Mike Davis

Urban Control and The Ecology of Fear (link exits Radical Urban Theory)

Mike Davis Lecture at UC Berkeley, Feb. 1995

Notes from a lecture.

About Mike Davis


The American Earthquake

Adam Schatz

Mike Davis and the politics of disaster.

In L.A., Out of Control

Emilio Spadola

This is not an essay about L.A. It's about movies.

Urban Decay

Christopher Leo

Barricading our cities, and our minds.

The Evening of the Alligator

Rick Adams

New York has the number one scare story of all big cities. It is the story of the alligators in the sewers, a well known urban myth. It tells us everything we need to know about our attitudes toward cities.

The “Gore Exception:” A Layman’s Guide to the Supreme Court Decision in Bush v. Gore

Mark Levine, Esq.

The illogical opinion of the Supreme Court, one of the worst and ill-reasoned opinions in US history is, unfortunately, no joke.

A Tale of Two Gated Communities: An African Memoir

Charles Mudede

Seattle and the over-abundant world of the Nordstroms, in whose Highlands palace my aunt lived and worked.

“Ilhas” and “Condomínios” in Porto: anthropological urban structure and the social cohesion problem

Paulo Castro Seixas

When the space becomes too crowded to support the cultural differences existing within it, cities turn to images of hell or a garden of delights to restore hierarchy and social order.