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Harvard Design Magazine 25 – Urban Design Now

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Harvard Design Magazine probes beyond the reaches of the established design disciplines to enrich and challenge current discourse.

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Harvard Design Magazine 25 – Urban Design Now (Fall 2006/Winter 2007)

The radical critique of current American urban design practice articulated here may be as potent and important as the radical critique of Modernist practice articulated and worked through from the early 1960s (with Jane Jacobs) through the early 1980s (with Postmodernism). This time it is a radical critique of the late and stale fruits of that earlier critique. Just as late Modernism calcified into dogmatism and second rate production–inhuman corporate and public housing towers, so too has the humanist reaction against Modernism devolved into lifelessness and shallow formula. This devolution and the resulting need for a radical change of direction is here expressed with the power of a long submerged awareness at last coming to the surface. The realization in these pages is that our hope for revitalized urbanism and a more fulfilling and meaningful city life through a return to the patterns, texture, look, and scale of certain pre-20th-century cities and through a focus on yuppie lifestyles has created innumerable delusions and falsities.

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