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Book Review: The Writing on the Wall

socialmedia

by Martin Earnshaw | 7 June 2014

If you’ve ever wondered how much of your life you have wasted on Social Media, Facebook will tell you with its new app. Read more…

Commodity Creatures

FE

By Charlie Winstanley | 18 April 2014

‘Tools for Unknown Futures’ was the theme for the latest FutureEverything conference in Manchester Town Hall Read more…

Ordos’ Other Ghost Town

OrdosOrdos in Inner Mongolia is synonymous with the phrase ‘Ghost Town’; a term describing cities apparently built on a whim, with no-one to occupy them. Read more…

The Practical Possibilist

Population 10 Billion: The Coming Demographic Crisis and How to Survive It by Danny Dorling; Constable, 2013. 448pp

Reviewed by Martin Earnshaw | 14 October 2013

population-10 billionThe recent news that the UK is experiencing a mini baby boom was greeted with predictable panic about how Britain’s services would cope. From worries about an ageing population to the familiar refrain (1) about depleted resources, population has long been a lightning rod for broader anxieties about society.  Read more…

Europe and China: Strategic Partners or Rivals?

Roland Vogt

Just half a century after De Gaulle’s vision that Europe (‘from the Atlantic to the Urals’) would decide the destiny of the world, Europe looks anything like a global powerhouse. Read more…

The uncivil civility of Richard Rogers

By Richard J Williams | 31 July 2013

rogers pompidouThe idea of ‘civility’ crops up a lot at Richard Rogers’s exhibition. It’s there right from the start in a room decked out in orange vinyl, with a series of panels laying out Rogers’s ‘ethos’. Read more…

Dear Chris…

Beijing-and-China-Air-PollutionThis is a series of letters between Chris Twinn, Arup Fellow & Senior Sustainability Consultant in Shanghai; and Austin Williams of FCP, after the publication of Williams’ article in China Daily (here)

Read more…

Of Pens and Tents: The Jaipur Literature Festival ’13

By Mrinalini Shinde | 13 February 2013

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” – J.D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye) Read more…

How Many Times Has the World Ended?

By Alastair Donald | 08 February 2013

You may recall that the world should have ended recently, on December 21, 2012, to be precise.  As it rather smugly reported on the preparations being made around the world for the coming apocalypse, the Guardian reminded us Read more…

Military Urbanism?

‘Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism’ by Stephen Graham; Verso, 2011. 402pp

Reviewed by Austin Williams | 18 December 2012

Urban transformation has often been considered to be a virtue, but some view it differently; as a source of instability and conflict. Read more…

The Great Stagnation

‘The Great Stagnation’ by Tyler Cowen; Dutton Books, 2011. 109pp

Reviewed by Stephen Nash | 23 November 2012

With its sizeable subtitle – ‘How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better’ – this slim volume has made a big splash since its initial appearance in ebook format at the start of 2011. Read more…

Britain after the riots

‘Out of the Ashes: Britain after the riots’ by David Lammy; Guardian Books, 2011. 272pp

Reviewed by Jane Sandeman | 11 October 2012

The death of Mark Duggan in August last year was followed by four days of riots in London, and later Birmingham and Manchester. While many agreed that the riots were nihilistic, opportunistic ‘mugging’ on a large scale, Read more…

I run therefore I am!

‘The End of the Race (Running Away From The Race)’ by Dan Travis, 2012. 20pp

Reviewed by Jean Smith | 10 October 2012

As an active teenager growing up in the Midlands, I loved field hockey, even though my school team lost most games in the early 1970s. Cross-country running was another story altogether. I was hopeless and dreaded the humiliation Read more…

Keeping it Real in the ‘Fictitious Capital’

By Andrew Calcutt | 9 October 2012

Foolish to judge a whole book on this basis alone; but if the design on the front doesn’t give you the gist of what’s between the covers, its editors should be shot. The front cover of a new book London After Recession depicts the eponymous city as a ‘fictitious capital’ Read more…

Looking back today

‘Everything Was Moving: Photography from the 60s and 70s’ at the Barbican Art Gallery; 13 Sep 2012 – 13 Jan 2013.

Reviewed by Pauline Hadaway | 27 September 2012

From iconic portraits of Dylan, Che and Martin Luther King, to history making shots of civil rights marchers, students on the barricades and draft card burning Read more…

FROM THE FUTURE CITIES ARCHIVE

Lost in Space’ by Greg Klerkx: A review by Martin Earnshaw

Neil Armstrong, who died last month, encapsulated humanity’s desire for exploration and discovery, and is believed to have been dismayed at NASA’s diminished ambitions. Here Martin Earnshaw assesses Klerkx’s claim that NASA is the main barrier to realising a human future in space.  Read more…

The Olympics… as seen from the other side of the world

Xu Xiangru | 01 September 2012

Despite the pessimism in advance of the games, in the UK they have been widely viewed as a success. Here a Chinese student reflects on what the Olympics mean to the Chinese at a special period in their history.  Read more…

Emerging Africa

‘Emerging Africa: how 17 countries are leading the way’ by Steven C. Radelet; Center for Global Development, 2010. 169pp

Reviewed by Joel Cohen | 22 August 2012

On the 50th anniversary of the publication of Things Fall Apart, Nigerian author Chinua Achebe was asked “Are things really falling apart or are they starting to come back together in Africa?” Read more…

Chronic Dissentery: Olympic Whingers

‘The Art of Dissent’ edited by Hilary Powell et al

Austin Williams | 24 July 2012

British comedian Jimmy Carr was recently heckled with the taunt ‘You don’t pay tax’. Floundering for reply, Carr spat: ‘I pay what I have to and not a penny more’, which was possibly one of the least funny comeback lines ever delivered. Read more…

FILM: Urbanization

‘Urbanized’ directed by Gary Hustwit, 2011

Reviewed by Michael Owens | 25 June 2012

Urbanized is the cinematic delight one might expect of Gary Hustwit, the director of this, the third in a trilogy of studies in design, following Helvetica (modernism in a typeface), and Objectified (industrial and product design). Each deals with a dimension of design’s intimate relationship daily life. Read more…