- Times Higher Education
"Franklin writes with barely restrained optimism as he emphasizes the excitement, vitality and potential of cities. This advances the idea of city lives as assemblages of ‘human and non-human networks of texts, software, culture, behaviour, architecture, trees and gardens’... Franklin uses a wide range of sources in making his case. Historical accounts, search engine statistics and social and cultural theory are all smoothly integrated into the narrative."
Cities are more important as cultural entities than their mere function as dormitories and industrial sites. Yet, the understanding of what makes a city 'alive' and appealing in cultural terms is still hotly contested - why are some cities so much more interesting, popular and successful than others?
In this engaging discussion of 'city life' Adrian Franklin takes the reader on a tour of contemporary western cities exploring their historical development and arguing that it is the transformative, ritual and performative qualities of successful cities that makes a difference.
Here is a new urban culture characterized by ecological frames of reference; tracking the making of contemporary city life from traditional times, through early modern, machinic and modernised stages of development. Adopting dynamic narrative structures and stories to develop its critical position this book creates a vibrant synthesis of city life from its key components of leisure and tourism, recreation and play, arts and culture, nature and environment, and architecture and public space.
Emphasising the importance of experience the book represents the fluid complexity of the city as a living space, an environment and a posthumanist space of transformation. It will be of interest to all those engaging with the difficulties of urban life in sociology, human geography, tourism and cultural studies.