- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
Ideal Cities: Utopiansim and the (Un)Built Environment
Synopses & Reviews
This vast panorama spans more than two millennia of Western attempts to invent the perfect city, cradle of the ideal society. Embracing not only architecture and town planning but also art, literature, philosophy, and politics, the book takes us through the imaginary environments of a wide variety of fascinating and often controversial movements and figures, including Plato, Filarete, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas More, Thomas Jefferson, Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, Charles Fourier, Etienne Cabet, Robert Owen, William Morris, Ebenezer Howard, Bruno Taut, Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, the European Situationalists, the Japanese Metabolists, Archigram, Superstudio, and many more. The ideal cities in this richly illustrated book exist for the most part in the domain of ideas. Ruth Eaton explores the ability of ideal cities to stimulate reflection and change, and she suggests under what conditions they might continue to exercise their vital function in relation to the urban environment of the future. While it is true that notorious attempts to cross the border into reality have greatly discredited utopianism, it is good to recall—with the famous historian of cities, Lewis Mumford—that "a map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at." 300 illustrations, 250 in color.
This publication presents than two millennia of Western attempts to invent the perfect city, cradle of the ideal society. It embraces architecture and town planning as well as art, literature, philosophy and politics, imaginary environments and controversial movements and figures.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 248-250) and index.
A survey of city planning over two millennia.
About the Author
Ruth Eaton has acted as a freelance curator for numerous international exhibitions, among them "Living Bridges, Inhabited Bridges: Past, Present, and Future" at the Royal Academy in 1996 and "Utopia: The Search for the Ideal Society in the Western World" at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 2001.
What Our Readers Are Saying