Among all the chatter about the future of urban development, "Living in the Endless City" stands out as a refreshing voice with its collection of clear-eyed info designed to help grapple with the some of the big questions facing today's cities. Culled from the London School of Economics' "Urban Age" conferences, the massive book may seem like a daunting academic read meant only for architects and city planners, but extraordinary photographs and comprehensive infographics make for a thoroughly engrossing book picking up where the ideas in "The Endless City"—which examined NYC, Shanghai, London, Mexico City, Johannesburg and Berlin—left off. "Living," edited by the same team of London Design Museum director Deyan Sudjic and London School of Economics professor Ricky Burdett, continues with an in-depth look at the world's three most rapidly expanding cities (Mumbai, São Paulo and Istanbul), using them as examples for a deeper discussion about urban sprawl and the value of the city in its potential to shape our culture and way of life.
The weighty book is filled with astonishing statistics, like that only 2% of the Earth's surface is covered by cities but 53% of the world's population currently occupies those areas (a number that will grow to 75% by 2050). Thoughtful essays on transportation, emergency aid and grave economic shifts detail how to prepare for these numbers.
A rational look at urban dwelling in the twenty-first century, the book is a gainful read for anyone interested in how the increasingly global world will fare during such rapidly developing times. "Living In The Endless City" sells from Amazon.
All images courtesy of Phaidon