chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 4

Cities are shaped in many ways. Economics, politics, society and culture all

play crucial parts in this process. Whatever the forces and practices, cities are

always the result of design. The design may be conscious and formal, under-

taken by architects and planners, as in the case of much of Philadelphia,

Barcelona, Brasilia and the Asian Megacities discussed by Richard Sommer,

Joan Busquets, Farés el-Dahdah and Richard Marshall in their essays. Alterna-

tively, it may be the result of informal cultural, social and economic practices,

as illustrated by Paulette Singley in her discussion of Los Angeles, Charles

Waldheim in his essay on Detroit and Rem Koolhaas in his discussion of

Atlanta. Informal practices also create a new form of urbanism in cyberspace,

so well depicted here by Christine Boyer. Design may be the result of social

conflict, as described by Sarah Whiting writing about Chicago, or conversely it

may be embedded in the search for the security suggested by Edward Robbins

in his analysis of the New Urbanist City.