6 Pages


WithRob Sullivan

There are two tasks at hand in the conclusion: one is recapitulation and the other is methodological. Regarding the first task, I survey the chapters of the book: city as creature (New York), city as human being (Paris), city as jail cell (Cairo), city as thing/not (Mumbai), city as home (Tokyo), and city as spectacle (Los Angeles). Regarding the second task, the reader is urged to attempt to perceive the city through all six aspects simultaneously. Although this may seem like an impossible task, akin to juggling and cooking at one and the same time, with practice it may become possible to do such a thing. And, even if the effort falls short, the reader will have been trying to do something that has a viable chance of succeeding at grasping the most complicated of all human inventions, the city. There is a political element here as well, for, if the city is perceived more accurately, steps at ameliorating urban problems will be handled more effectively. Some framework is required if the city is to be perceived more precisely. Witnessing the city as chaos, purely, means that nothing is being perceived at all, because chaos, by definition, is incomprehensible. Therefore, some method is needed to unlock the metaphysics of the urban milieu; with a bit of immodesty, I suggest that the tools laid out in this book could be one of the best methods available with which to comprehend the city.