Reverse Pruitt Igoe

Riots, The Privatised City, Networked Urbanism and the Pretzel Logic of Looting

I have an Op Ed up on Domus on the UK riots and their relationship to urban commodification, communication networks and the prolapsed politics of looting. Here’s an extract: “Yet it was also an attack whose ideology seems to spring from the very same logics that shape the contemporary urban condition. Densified by digital networks, […]

Show & Tell: Evicting the Ghost / studioBASAR

This is the first in a new series titled Show & Tell authored by guest contributors. The idea is to present an idea, a project, a collection, research or subject in a manner that is part blog post, part curation and part photo essay. Exactly what that means, we’ll have to see as it develops. […]

Cities Destroyed for Cash (Then) Blame The Architect

A couple of links to great talks I hosted last week at the AA: Damon Rich Cities Destroyed for Cash The Great Recession has produced a new theory of architecture; per US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, ‘The built environment helped create the economic crisis.’ Recognizing the built environment as protagonist to, […]


Once a week, on my way to teach architecture, I would climb the steps at Baker Street Tube Station. Silhouetted against the Marylebone sky was the unmistakable figure of Sherlock Holmes. Except it wasn’t the historical fictional detective made flesh but a tall boy in an ill-fitting costume holding a pipe and looking bored. Like […]

Resurrecting the Dodo: The Death and Life of Urban Planning

Sitting in the Burger King in the center of Almere – the Dutch New Town built on land reclaimed from the North Sea – it suddenly struck me that this might be the culmination of the entire history of urbanism. Chewing on a Bacon Double Swiss I looked out of the burger joint onto the […]

Sex and the City 2: Big Screen Urban Theory

This is the title sequence for Sex and the City 2 where Carrie describes the urban history of Manhattan. It’s of course a barely coded signal that the whole film (if not the whole SATC franchise) is a seminal text on contemporary urbanism. I’d like to point you in the direction of a piece I wrote […]