I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Ugly Cities Made by Dumbass Planners
This spate of book reviews is going to end (I'm running out of steam here!) with one last short one, Alone Together by Martino Marangoni.
It's large book of portraits of people inhabiting modern urban environments. They are not especially friendly urban environments, they're spaces that are built as facades where people pass through to the office or the mall or the commodified eating place. You will probably recognise alot of them because they are generic. I used to live in Toronto before the lakeside became the abomination that it is. And now it is the abomination that it is; a pointless place full of condos that are worse than the run down buildings they replaced. Go to pretty much any waterfront anywhere (in the English speaking world) and you'll get the same effect. Places full of office buildings and condos that forbid both by law and design, any organic or mixed use. Pointless places that designed to look good in images that highlight development, modernity and acquiescence to an apartheid vision of society where rich are separated from poor, where the city is a place of consumption that only those with the means to consume can inhabit. What fuckwits design these places, what fuckwits plan these towns. In what world is this glass and concrete and hostile space remotely attractive.
More on hostile urban development from Anthony Cairns here and on Cities and Photography by Jane Tomey here.
Buy the book here.