'The Perfect City' -- new book questions how cities work and what can be done to improve them

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Image Copyright: Joe Berridge. Used with permission.

There is no such thing as a perfect city, but great cities have moments of perfection -- perfect streets or buildings, perfect places to raise a family or to relax with a coffee -- and all strive for perfection when they undertake grand civic projects revitalizing their downtowns or waterfronts, or building innovation hubs, airports, and arenas, or reforming their governance systems, or integrating streams of new immigrants.

Joe Berridge talks to Face2Face host David Peck about his new book The Perfect City and themes of cities and entropy, why they are like machines and purpose built, liberty and democracy and urban planning and why successful cities need immigrants.

Cities, more than ever, are the engines of our economies and the ecosystems in which our lives play out, which makes questions about the perfectibility of urban life all the more urgent. Joe Berridge, one of the world's leading urban planners, takes us on an insider's tour of some of the world's largest and most diverse cities, from New York to London, Shanghai to Singapore, Toronto to Sydney, Manchester to Belfast, to scrutinize what is working and what is not, what is promising and what needs to be fixed in the contemporary megalopolis.

We meet the people, politicians, and thinkers at the cutting edge of global city making, and share their struggles and successes as they balance the competing priorities of growing their economies, upgrading the urban machinery that keeps a city humming, and protecting, serving and delighting their citizens. We visit a succession of great urban innovations, stop to eat in many of Joe’s favorite places, and leave with a startling view of the magical urban future that awaits us all.

About the Author:

Joe Berridge, a partner at Urban Strategies, is an urban planner and city builder who has had an integral role in the development of complex urban planning and regeneration projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Asia. He has been strategic advisor for the development of the city centres of Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff and for the waterfronts of Toronto, Singapore, Sydney, Cork, London and Governors Island in New York City.

He has prepared campus master plans for the Universities of Manchester, Waterloo, Queen's and Western and is now advising on the new hub for Toronto Pearson International Airport. Berridge teaches at the University of Toronto and is a senior fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.

Image Copyright: Joe Berridge. Used with permission.

F2F Music and Image Copyright: David Peck and Face2Face. Used with permission.

For more information about David Peck’s podcasting, writing and public speaking please visit his site here.

With thanks to Josh Snethlage and Mixed Media Sound.

 

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