Cities are more important as cultural entities than their mere function as dormitories and industrial sites. Yet, the understanding of what makes a city ‘alive’ and appealing in cultural terms is still hotly contested - why are some cities so much more interesting, popular and successful than others? In this engaging discussion in the text City Life, Adrian Franklin takes the reader on a tour of contemporary western cities exploring their historical development and arguing that it is the transformative, ritual and performative qualities of successful cities that makes a difference. Emphasizing the importance of experience, the book represents the fluid complexity of the city as a living space, an environment and a posthumanist space of transformation. It will be of interest to all those engaging with the difficulties of urban life in sociology, human geography, tourism and cultural studies departments.



The bombsites remained for decades. Nature quickly took them over, the split-apart houses, wild willow herb and buddleia creeping over ruined walls … Stray cats abounded, the ones who ran away when the bombs fell and never saw home again or had no homes or owners to return to. Old ladies fed them their rations, and they bred and became plentiful, but weren't keen on stroking.

Fay Weldon, Auto Da Fay, 2002: 157

Most of us live in cities, our lives are city lives. This book investigates the life rather than the structures, buildings, policies, systems, human taxonomies and sociologies that normally comprise investigation of the city. Of course all of the above are part of the life of cities, a very important part, but actually, ...

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