joi, 1 octombrie 2009

Launch of new anthology on urbanism exploring the complexity of our cities

Critical Cities: Ideas, Knowledge and Agitation from Emerging Urbanists opens up discourses about our cities, giving a platform to a variety of voices from disciplines such as art, architecture, photography and filmmaking. The book is introduced by Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism at LSE, Ricky Burdett and includes a variety of essays from progressive urban thinkers.

New anthology on urbanism explores the complexity of our cities

Launched this month by urban platform, This is Not a Gateway (TINAG), Critical Cities: Ideas, Knowledge and Agitation from Emerging Urbanists presents a collection of critical papers, transcripts, and visual essays by progressive urban thinkers from around the world.

This publication, introduced by Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism at LSE, Ricky Burdett, prises open debate about how we engage with our urban environment bringing together ideas from a broad spectrum of disciplines including, architecture, art, film making, the legal profession and academia. Collectively the contributors suggest the need for, and potential of, a transformation in our approaches to new urban realities, through a timely injection of optimism, creativity, rigour and collaboration.

Building on the work of TINAG, the objective of Critical Cities is to open-up debate, reacting to how official discourses about urban environments have narrowed. The anthology which broadens dialogues on urbanism makes complexities of urban life explicit, acting as a platform for new and divergent ideas, practices and body of knowledge to surface.

Commenting on the launch of the book, Deepa Naik, Coordinator of TINAG, said: “We are delighted with both the content and production values of the book. We hope Critical Cities will become an invaluable resource for readers who want to take a closer look at cities.”

Critical Cities, supported by the Homes and Communities Academy, was published by Myrdle Court Press, an independent publishing company that advances ideas generated by emerging urbanists. The publication can be ordered directly from the publisher at

Highlights include:

Ricky Burdett, Director of the LSE Cities programme and co-editor of The Endless City, highlights the scale, pace and immediacy of global urbanisation and argues a new generation of urban leaders are rising to meet these new challenges.

Rehan Jamil’s visual essay, East End of Islam, documents the construction of the East London Mosque – Europe’s largest purpose built mosque. Taken over the course of a decade, the images reveal the way the Mosque takes form and how people use the building to articulate their own needs and desires in the built environment.

Bill Parry-Davies, solicitor and founding member of the community action company OPEN, details how change on the ground can only occur when a cultural movement runs in parallel and then intersects with the field of law.

Catherine Botibol’s paper A City in Transition: Bucharest raises critical questions about how new generations, who have not experienced the full weight of a conflictive past, are actively re-moulding the physical and collective memory of ever re-adjusting cities.

Hilary Powell, artist, filmmaker and writer, explores how artists are involved in both documenting and questioning small-scale sites that result from large-scale policies and legally constructed urban frameworks, such as the 2012 Olympics.

More information on Critical Cities: Ideas, Knowledge and Agitation from Emerging Urbanists:

Number of pages: 294

ISBN: 978-0-9563539-0-0

Names of contributors: Trenton Oldfield, Deepa Naik, Ricky Burdett, Bill Parry-Davies, Rehan Jamil, Catherine Botibol, Hilary Powell

Editors: This is not a gateway, Trenton Oldfield and Deepa Naik

Designed by: Karolin Schnoor

Price: £12.99

Size: 211x140 mm


TINAG creates platforms for emerging academics, artists, youth workers, filmmakers, architects, students and more, whose point of departure in their work is ‘the city’. TINAG aims to gather knowledge about the city from grass roots and community based projects to inform organisations and government bodies working to change the way we live in cities. TINAG was set up by Trenton Oldfield and Deepa Naik in 2007. TheThis is Not a Gateway Festival 2009 will take place between 24 - 26 October at the Kobi Nazrul Centre and Hanbury Hall. For event listings and further information please visit:

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