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.
Chapter 4: The Solid Modern City: 2
The Solid Modern City: 2
I am in Penrith, Sydney, Australia on a balmy November evening in 2007. It is heavenly. And yet to all intents and purposes this is part of the greater Sydney sprawl, this is brain-dead suburban repetition, and this is ‘middle’ Australia's copy of Middle America. Not far away there is a fairly ugly multiplex hotel, casino, golf driving range, nightclub and sports stadium (for the Penrith Tigers rugby club). This is in fact the sort of place that most people these days tend to live or aspire to live at some stage of their life. I am having a stroll around a gently curving road, the houses of which have long sweeping unfenced gardens coming right ...