The Renewed Challenge: Sustaining a City's Culture and Character

From the outset, defining the culture and character of a city is a daunting task, especially when the city around you disappears.

July 8, 2020, 10:00 AM PDT

By Charles R. Wolfe @crwolfelaw


From London, Chuck Wolfe reports in with a prequel to his pending book with Tigran Haas, Sustaining a City's Culture and Character: Principles and Best Practices. The book--which calls for a co-created, holistic understanding of place amid today's pandemic-influenced, global/local blends--culminates a two-year project at the Centre for the Future of Places at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

His adapted excerpt from the Introduction concludes:

In light of these complex, intermingled layers that define the city, I believe that if anyone tries to determine, declare and impose a local urban essence quickly and then sustain it—based only on dogma or as an urbanist missionary—it will escape them and slither through their hands. However, if they apply diligence and reflection concerning the day-to-day realities of urban life, they will gain a more accurate understanding of the blending that is actually underway. Mindfulness, which we are constantly counseled to apply to ourselves, is critical, because the world in an era of technological evolution and climate change is too unpredictable a place for detached soothsayers to prevail. 

Expect a pandemic-delayed publication date soon from Rowman & Littlefield, likely late 2020/early 2021.

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