'49 Cities' That Made a Difference

"49 Cities" is a touring exhibition that looks at the relationship between urban design and the success or failure of cities, from Levittown to ancient Rome to Le Corbusier's Radiant City.
April 14, 2010, 7am PDT | Akshali Gandhi
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On display at the SPUR Urban Center in San Francisco, "49 Cities" is a dramatic collection of model cities. From the Roman gridiron walls, to the mass produced Massachusetts 'burbs, to the UAE's new zero carbon space, this special exhibition breathes new life into urban history.

According to San Francisco Chronicle reviewer John King, the "intellectually immense and immersive exhibition" captures the dynamic and spontaneous nature of the city. The long term evolution of the city, he gathers from the very spatial exhibit, comes not from its pre-planned models but rather from what happens to it over time.

"Instead of photographs or illustrations, the exhibition tattoos the gallery walls with comparative data on each scheme and, more telling, same-scaled spatial maps of each city showing the relation of solid to void," he reports.

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Published on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 in SF Gate (part of San Francisco Chronicle)
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