The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects is a 1961 National Book Award winner by American historian Lewis Mumford. It was first published by Harcourt, Brace &…Deskripsi lengkap
The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects is a 1961 National Book Award winner by American historian Lewis Mumford. It was first published by Harcourt, Brace &…Full description
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Descripción: A historical summary about evolution, methodologies and concepts of software tools CAD  / BIM  to the AEC industry (Architecture, Engineering and Construction).
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Presentation of the book by Lewis Mumford “The City in History (1961) Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects”
“A powerfully incisive and influential look at the development of the urban form through the ages”
About Author •
Lewis Mumford, was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad career as a writer. Mumford was influenced by the work of Scottish theorist Sir Patrick Geddes.
Mumford was born in Flushing, Queens, New York and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1912.
He studied at the City College of New York and The New School for Social Research, but became ill with tuberculosis and never finished his degree.
Mumford preferred to call himself a writer, not a scholar, architectural critic, historian or philosopher.
Other Books By Lewis Mumford The Story of Utopias. 1922. Sticks and Stones: A Study of American Architecture and Civilization. 1924. The Golden Day: A Study in American Experience and Culture. 1926. Herman Melville. 1929. The Brown Decades: A Study of the Arts in America,1865-1895. 1931. Technics and Civilization. 1934. The Culture of Cities. 1938. Men Must Act. 1939 Faith for Living. 1940. The South in Architecture. 1941. The Condition of Man. 1944. City Development: Studies in Disintegration and Renewal. 1945 Values for Survival: Essays, Addresses, and Letters on Politics and Education. 1946. Green Memories: The Story of Geddes. 1947. The Conduct of Life. 1951. Art and Technics. 1952 In the Name of Sanity. 1954. From the Ground Up. 1956. The Transformations of Man. 1956. The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects. 1961. The Highway and the City. 1963. The Urban Prospect. 1968. The Myth of the Machine. 1975. My Works and Days: A Personal Chronicle. 1979. Sketches from Life: The Autobiography of Lewis Mumford. 1982. 3
The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects is a 1961 National Book Award winner by Lewis Mumford.
In this book Mumford talks about development of city from ancient times to the modern age.
Mumford argues for a world not in which technology reigns, but rather in which it achieves a balance with nature. His ideal vision is what can be described as an "organic city," where culture is not encroached by technological innovation but rather thrives with it.
This book is an evaluation of city’s growth, how it took the present form, and where it is heading.
Mumford takes the reader on an awesome journey beginning almost from the days of cave dwellers, through Mesopotamia, Babylon, ancient Greece and Rome, through the Middle Ages and down to the modern city at the middle of the 20th century.
Contents 1. Sanctuary, village, and stronghold 2. The crystallization of the city 3. Ancestral forms and patterns 4. The nature of the ancient city 5. Emergence of the polis 6. Citizen versus ideal city 7. Helleinistic absolutism and urbanity 8. Megalopolis into necropolis 9. Cloister and community 10. Medieval urban housekeeping 11. Medieval disruptions, modern anticipations 12. The structure of baroque power 13. Court, parade, and capital 14. Commercial expansion and urban dissolution 15. Paleotechnic paradise : Coketown 16. Suburbia-and beyond 17. The myth of megalopolis 18. Retrospect and prospect. 5
Sanctuary, Village, and Stronghold The City in History Animal Promptings And Foreshadowing Cemeteries And Shrines Domestication And The Village Ceramics, Hydraulics, And Geotechnics The Contribution Of The Village The New Role Of The Hunter The Paleolithic – Neolithic Union In the chapter , Lewis Mumford demonstrates and outlines various vital issues that intertwine to explain the beginnings of the city and its various institutions, behaviours
and social norms that exist within. The three key issues that are the most striking reason for the existence of cities are :
•animal needs, •the dominance of women in Neolithic culture and
•the development of the role of the Paleolithic hunter. Although Mumford dissects each of these issues in isolation, he ultimately demonstrates 6 how they all come together to become part of the earliest of cities.
Before cities came into existence, Mumford explains how “there was the hamlet and the shrine and the village: before the village, the camp, the cache, the cave and the cairn”. Mumford further observes that the pattern of human settlement is common with the settlement patterns of other animals such as birds and insects the need to breed and feed. However, Mumford also recognizes that the “…propensity to store and settle down may itself be an original human trait” and he also quotes a unique human trait with man’s fascination with the concept of death. Unlike any other animal counterpart, even the most primitive man’s trail demonstrates his interest, anxiety and respect for the dead. Mumford suggest that perhaps death “had an even greater role than more practical needs in causing [man] to seek a fixed meeting place and eventually a continuous settlement”. The evidence of the Paleolithic man’s fascination with death lies in the cavern, mound and collective barrow he has left behind. Such a fascination with death thus also justifies how the Necropolis antedates the city of living as Mumford finally concludes that even though hunting and food gathering may not “encourage permanent occupation of a single site, the dead at least 7 claim that privilege”
Thus it is not necessarily the animalistic needs that drive men to settlement, but their wonder and awe with the dead, which leads to the spiritual and ceremonial rites in the caves and finally “draws men into cities”. Permanent settlement is followed by general domestication, which is marked by the agricultural revolution. Although the man’s hunting skills, territorial nature and alertness were very useful, especially in the Paleolithic culture, the guarding, patient and nurturing role of women became more prominent in the process of domestication and Neolithic culture. Thus Mumford insightfully suggests that the agricultural revolution gave predominance not to the hunting male, but to the more passive female. The woman spearhead the agricultural revolution as she was the one who tended the garden crops and accomplished cross fertilization which turned raw wild species into richly nutritious domestic varieties.”
Furthermore, the Neolithic culture is marked by women’s invention and creation of the first tools “the first containers, weaving baskets and coiling clay pots”, which are not only symbolic of the “collective container” that was the Neolithic village, but also became essential in the storage of surplus food that came with expertise in agriculture in the revolution. Unlike the Paleolithic tools which address the hunters movements and muscular efforts for aggressive activity, the Neolithic containers and tool address the woman’s nature8 to hold, enclose and protect, a directly symbolic of essentially what the village is:
“a collective nest for the care and nurture of the young”. Thus, the concept of the village is also directly attributable to the nature of the womansecurity, receptivity, enclosure and nurture. Although the role of the woman became secondary to that of the man as the Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures united in the origins of the city, the city owes much to the woman in the village whose range of inventions of permanent containers to the extent of irrigation ditches, canals, reservoirs , etc, which were crucial in forming the city. Finally, the developing role of the Paleolithic hunter is one of the most interesting issues that Mumford eloquently puts forth in his discussion of the fusion of secular and sacred power followed by the union of Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures that lead to the emergence of the city. As the two cultures unite, the role of the hunter, which had become subordinate to role of the woman during the Neolithic culture, “returned with redoubled vigour above all, to exercise partly by command of weapons, a predatory power over other human groups”. Mumford observes that the hunter played a useful part in the Neolithic economy, as a protector of the village and with his mastery of weapons and hunting skills.
The Crystallization of the City The First Urban Transformation The First Urban Implosion Anxiety, Sacrifice, And Aggression Law And Urban Order From ‘Protection’ To Destruction As the village prospered under the watchful protection of the hunter, his role became more valuable and he demanded “protection money”. The villagers submitted according to the hunter’s wishes lest he “show uglier teeth than the animals he offered protection against”. Thus, the natural evolution of the hunter into a “political chieftan” easily paved the way for his further ascent to power, such as the king. Furthermore, as the city emerged, “struggle, domination, mastery and conquest became the new themes” which gave even more prominence to the natural characteristics of the hunter. Mumford also suggests that without the evolution of the protective hunter into the tribute‐gathering chief, the concentration and mobilization of power in the first urban implosion would not have been possible. 10
He quotes Henri Frankfort, who suggests that “the most important agent in effecting the change from a decentralized village economy to a highly organized urban economy, was the king”, who evolved from the Paleolithic hunter.
Alone the king, marked by the hunter’s brute coercion and force, however, would not have been able to accomplish “the maximum possible social and vocational differentiations consistent with the widening processes of unification and integration”. Thus, what religious/spiritual rites alone could not accomplish and brute force alone could not either, together, the king and priest brought all the “rudimentary (under developed) parts of the city and gave them a fresh form, visibly greater and more awe‐inspiring”, in order to command the destinies of the city and set the mould of civilization. Thus, the journey of the wandering, Paleolithic hunter ascended over thousands of years into the form of the king who became the “mediator between heaven and earth” and the centralized power, which brought order to the earliest cities. Mumford states that the historical development of kingship seems to have been accompanied by a collective shift from the rites of fertility to the wider cult of physical power. Their power to command, to seize property, to kill, to destroy-all these were, and have remained, ‘sovereign powers’. To mobilize these new forces and bring them under control, the king gathered to himself extraordinary sacred powers; he not only incarnated the community, but by his very assumptions held its fate in his hands. This shifted the ground for a state of collective anxiety. There is also evidence, that fertility rites to ensure the growth of crops were11 consummated by human sacrifice.
The powers of the king made him aggressive that lead to war between kingdoms, trying to occupy others territory and to serve the purpose of greediness for more power and wealth. Finally, the brutality of wars lead to fortification of the cities or walled cities came into existence. Thus came the massive strongholds and citadels for the king and the army. Beside his role as the ‘City Builder’, he also implied Law and Urban Order under his governance.
Ancestral Forms and Patterns Cities of the Plain The Enigma of the Urban Ruins Urbanism And Monumentality River, Highway, And Market Technical Innovations And Deficiencies Contemporary Glimpses of the city From Ceremonial Center to Control Center Mumford states that as a special organ of civilization, the city seems to have sprung up in a few great river valley : the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates, the Indus, the Hwang Ho. Villages might existed wherever there were possibilities of farming and cattle raising. Even bigger settlements took root in the regions like the Negev in Palestine, as soon as there was sufficient manpower to build cistern and reservoirs to tide over the dry seasons. The rivers became the first highroads, once boats were invented. They formed a spinal transportation system which served as a model for the irrigation ditch and the canals for farming. Thus the transformation of the village into city was no mere change of size and scale, though both these factors entered into it: rather, it was a change of direction and 13 purpose, manifested into a new type of organization.
The powers of the king made him aggressive that lead to war between kingdoms, trying to occupy others territory and to serve the purpose of greediness for more power and wealth. Finally, the brutality of wars lead to fortification of the cities or walled cities came into existence. Thus came the massive strongholds and citadels for the king and the army. Beside his role as the ‘City Builder’, he also implied Law and Urban Order under his governance. Citing various examples, Mumford explains that early cities did not grow beyond walking distances or hearing distances while in the middle ages, to be within sound of Bow Bells defined the limits of the city as was the case of City of London; and until other systems of mass communication were invented , these were among the effective limits to urban growth. Mumford explained that the new mark of the city was obvious: a change of scale, deliberately meant to awe and overpower the beholder. Though the mass of inhabitants might be poorly fed and overworked, no expense was spared to create temples and palaces whose sheer bulk and upward thrust dominated the rest of the city. The dynamic component of the city, without which it could not have continued to increase in size and scope and productivity: the first efficient means of mass transport , the waterways. Transportation made the first implementation of trade possible. The trade between cities eventually gave birth to the ‘Market’ of the city. 14
To show contemporary glimpses of ancient cities. Mumford confines himself to three contemporary sources. The monument layard unearthed Ninevh. The map of Nippur, in the classic account of Herodotus left for Babylon.
In the ancient civilizations like Mayans, centres of population were not so populated, nor densely packed and concentrated as our modern cities and towns. On the contrary, they were scattered over extensive, more lightly inhabited suburbs, fringing out into continuous small forms. The assemblages of public buildings, temples, sanctuaries, palaces, pyramids, monasteries, observatories, etc. Were usually not disposed along streets and avenues. Instead, the buildings were erected the courts and sites which were religious precincts, governmental and trading sections of the city. The social core of the city was more significant than any of the particular physical manifestation, so it was ceremonial centre. But at the later periods, the cities were converted into control centre. This was the resultant of the tensions brewing between cities and thus, leading to their fortification.
Emergence of the Polis Stronghold of the minos The voice of the village Olympia, Delphi and Cos Townhall and the market place If the ancient cities of Mesopotamia, were mobilising centres for river control, for coping with storm, there was nothing in the aegean towns to promote that sort of large scale promotion and unification: the terrain did not itself admit of much human re-modeling. City development in this part of the world began in Crete. The fertile lowlands, supported neo-lithic agriculture. The early villages formed distinct communities, not subject to any common system of control. Greek city development made many promising institutional departure from the original pattern of the city. The city builders moulded their cities with respect to the hilly terrain. The pattern of the natural stronghold, with abrupt slopes, easy to defend without extra fortification, surrounded by extra villages, was the common feature of both, Greece and Italy. The Hellenic city was, typically, a union of villages sometime brought about by voluntary democratic actions or sometimes by kingly compulsions, such as Athens. The highest culture of the ancient culture, that of, Athens, reached its apex in what was from the standpoint of town planning and hygiene, a deplorably, backward municipality.16
The varied sanitary that Ur and Harappa had, 2000 years before hardly existed even in 5th century Athens. The street of any Greek city were little more than alleys, many of these were only passages. The Greek cities reached its maturity in the 5 th century, before it had achieved a rich organisation of physical forms. At that point, its civic purposes had merged from its original municipal functions, and were far more highly developed.
Lewis Mumford stated, that if one wanted to sum up in three words, what supremely distinct Greek urban culture form that of its predecessors, one might say simply: Olympia, Delphi, Cos. It was the contribution of these centres, that raised the achievements of Greek civilisation so well. The Olympia was the home of the first Olympian game ever held; Delphi held the chief spine and the sacred oracle of Apollo and Cos was one of the great held resort or sanatoria. The dynamic centre of a Greek city was the Agora or the market place. It was a meeting place for the whole city. It acted as the common point where the political and social systems existed. Agora grew as a common trading ground to a more complex and highly functional space, incorporating the political activities along with social activities. The possibilities and difficulties of urban democracy under population and expansion were exploded in 5th century in Athens. The contradictions between political, military policy and economic need were too great to be bridged. In the act of seeking a secure supply of grain, Athens became an imperialist exploiter. The aspect of life titan into a knot; and the sword finally severed the whole community. 17
Cloister and Community By the fifth century the life-blood was spilling on the streets of Rome and in the midst of urban decay fresh life was sprouting, like the seeds on a compost heap. Christianity took the first steps forward building up a new fabric out of wreckage. Christian Rome found a new capital, the Heavenly City. Within the city of Rome itself one could follow a change that was taking place everywhere. One of the first indications of the new medieval city was the transfer of the market , from the Forum to the more defensible Capitoline Hill.
The monasteries built by Christianity served as the new citadel. The monasteries kept alive the image of the Heavenly city. Here was the peace and order, the quietness and inwardness. A refuge for a common man from the outer world full of butchery. The new Christian culture that arose under circumstances did not assume an urban form until the eleventh century. The surviving architecture expresses the needs of the troubled age, with its emphasis upon enclosure, protection, security, durabillity, and continuity. The walled enclosure not merely gave protection from outside invasion: it had a new political function. The enclosed structures flaunted by political leader as a place of peace 18 and freedom.
Increase of Population and Wealth took place drastically under the influence of Christianity. Revival of trade took place as the direct cause of the city building and civilizing activities that took place in 11th century but before it could happen, a surplus population was necessary. So, Christianity, by its superstitions and dazzling myths, lured the barbarian population of Northern and Central Europe . Great International Fairs started taking place in the Middle Ages so as to promote more trade which resulted in production of more wealth. Outside the Church, a new community formed, which were the most widespread representatives of the corporate life was the guild.
Medieval Urban Housekeeping In this chapter, Mumford discusses the scenario of housekeeping in medieval towns. The medieval urban family was a very open unit. It included blood relatives, group of industrial workers as well as domestics who were like the secondary members of the family. The members ate together, worked together. Slept together in the common hall which gets converted into dormitory. Houses were only two or three stories high at the beginning and were usually built in continuous rows around perimeter of their rear gardens. The materials for the houses came out of the local soil which varied with the region . (stone , brick, thatched roofs, tile or slate). The earliest of houses had small window openings with shutters. Later people started using oiled cloth, paper and then glass in place of shutters. In fifteenth century glass was costly so it was used for only for the public buildings. 20
Some of the common features in the plan of the houses were : Shop on the ground floor connected by an open gallery with kitchen in the rear. Living room is placed above the shop from which the access to dormitory is provided.
The first radical change which started to alter the form of medieval house was the development of sense of privacy.
Privacy in sleep, privacy in eating, privacy in religious and social rituals and finally privacy in thought. People started to withdraw from common life at their own will. This resulted into the existence of a private bedroom for the noble owners and close to it was their private toilet. This desire of privacy marked the beginning of the new alignment of classes. Attachments became weaker and it became easier to practice inhumanity upon those you do not see or work with together.
Early medieval villages and towns had enjoyed healthier conditions, and a large part of the population had private gardens behind their houses and practiced rural occupations within the city . The typical medieval town was nearer to what we should now call a village or a country town than to a crowded modern trading center.
Medieval people were used to outdoor living and had shooting grounds and bowling grounds, they would either tossed the ball around or kicked a football and also were involved in races and practiced archery. All of these opportunities were provided for by open spaces nearby at hand.
The growing population, often unable to expand outside the town walls, covered over the internal open spaces; and then grave hygienic misdemeanours were committed.
After a 100 years, the over populated capital could no longer afford open spaces for the dead, so the invention of graveyards came along. However decayed corpses became a sanitary menace in the medieval town as soon as they had a chance, to contaminate the water supply. As population grew, corpses grew, and that increased the menace of the town.
By the 16th century such special provisions for sanitary control and decency had become widespread, one of the commands were as follows, "no man shall bury any dung or dead within the liberties of the city" .
Even with the higher standards of sanitation and hygiene, influenza and poliomyelitis infect the modern cities and had the highest death plague in 1918. Main Points discussed: • Level of cleanliness varies significantly between medieval towns . • Poor sanitation as result of population growth in limited space. • Importance of open space, gardens, parks. • Contributed to keeping town nice place to live . • Burial practices: The dead was buried in designated churchyards , when those were filled, they became house plots and were built on , over the years seepage from the corpses contaminated water supply. • Human waste disposal: Farmers and gardeners by cities used human excrement to fertilize their fields. • Crude sanitary arrangements of the small medieval towns were not necessarily as offensive as they have been pictured. • Public baths promoted hygiene and sociability. The middle ages was a period of constant change . Towns multiplied and grew , from tenth century to fifteenth. The wall acted as the limit of physical town and it was a simple matter to tear down the wall and extend the city’s boundary just like Florence enlarged it’s area in 1172 and then again after 23 around one century.
Medieval Disruptions, Modern Anticipations Mumford refers to the monastery, the guild and the church as formative elements of the medieval town. For the first time, the majority of inhabitants of a city were free men. External control became self control which involved self regulation and self discipline, which was practiced by members of guilds and corporations.
Plan of Venice had no static design. According to its situation and size, each of venice’s islands found its appropriate function. Torcello: a church and cemetery. Arsenal: industrial quarter. Etc. He argues that the most significant attribute to Venice is Her collection of campo and piazzas which are scattered over the city. These are large multifunctional spaces which lie at the heart of every neighbourhood in Venice. They enrich the daily routine by creating a social space with trees and benches where people can relax, go to the local market, children can play, friends meet and neighbours exchange conversations and smiles. It is a safe, social space which brings communities together and increases well being.
From fourteenth century onwards, the problem of over crowding put up various questions on the wall. After the sixteenth century the medieval towns became like life less shells. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the mining and glass industries contributed a large part of economy. These industries with their demands of raw materials and dirt, were usually placed outside the limits of earlier settlements.
Slowly, these industries gave rise to new urban settlements, which were outside the existing municipals. These emerging industrial settlements led to the conflict of jurisdictions. Territorial unification, internal peace and freedom of movement were missing and this led to the development of centralized power in states like England and France.
The Church was the only institution which could have stopped these efforts of rise of new power, but they became economically interested. City became a pack of people seeking only profit. Officers turned their eyes from problem of common people.
The Structure of Baroque Power •
Between the fifteenth and the eighteenth century, a new complex of cultural traits took shape in Europe. A new Mercantilist capitalistic economy, a new political framework emerged.
Until the seventeenth century , the medieval order began to break up through inner corruption and religion, trade, politics went their separate ways.
Power came into the hands of those who controlled armies, trade routes or had great accumulations of wealth.
The symbol of this movement are the straight streets, the unbroken horizontal roof line, the round arch and repetition of uniform elements, cornice, lintel, window, column, on the façade. This produced a sense of openness, clarity and formal order in city.
In the growth of the modern state, technics and warfare played a decisive part. In order to enhance military conditions, the towns abandoned their old system of simple walls. They were forced to hire soldiers.
New methods of fortifications were adopted, in which aesthetics took backseats. The newly fortified city was planned primarily as fortification and the city was fitted into it.
New fortification leaves the orchards and gardens away from the city. Population growth led to congestion . Open spaces were rapidly built over.
Protection also gave way to exploitation. The army barracks took the place of monastery in town. Military drills became a way to show might.
The avenue is the most important symbol and the main fact about the baroque city. It was during sixteenth century that carts and wagons came into more general use within cities.
Court, Parade, and Capital • • • •
• • • •
The baroque court had a direct influence upon the town in nearly every aspect of life. The town planning was practiced by high-handed agents of the prince. Showmanship and theatrical display of wealth were eminent. Gardens and orchards were open only for the pleasure of the court. On the household level, the three functions of producing, selling and consuming were now separated in three different sets of buildings, three distinct parts of city. Privacy was the new luxury. The scheme of central place was of , circles or open squares, dominated by monuments and lined with public buildings. Unlike medieval towns, baroque town were more about imposing structures than that of surprising details. The city was sacrificed to the traffic, the street became the unit of planning. Markets stretched along the traffic lines. Living space was treated as leftover.
Paleotechnic Paradise: Coketown •
The Paleotechnic period, was first discussed in Lewis Mumford's Technics and Civilization, published in 1934. The era is defined loosely as the 18th and 19th centuries and is markedly known for widespread urbanization and the birth of industrialism. "Coketown", first coined by Charles Dickens in Hard Times, is the term Mumford uses to describe the desensitized, exploitative cities that emerged as a product of the Paleotechnic era. Mumford focuses on the rapid and careless change of industrial towns, agriculture, the process of mining, population growth, living conditions, and the main elements in the new urban complex. In the 19th century, industrialism was the main creative force. There was almost an obsession for instant power, luxury, and the creation of a better future. The rush of transforming urban towns into factory producing cities was the root to many of the problems during this time period. Because of the growing areas and bigger cities, there was a rapid population increase. As urbanization increased, industrialization increased as well. As the industries continued to develop, the population maintained, but living conditions progressively got worse. Since factories were built near large bodies of water, they became dumping grounds for different forms of waste. Because of this, there was damaging of food and aquatic life. The living quarters that were nearby were also depressing and not very impressive in the new industrial towns. 29
Suburbia- and Beyond • •
There was a rise in conquest and colonization of new lands. Suburbs seemed promising for their unspoiled wilderness. The great beauty of such retreat are being near to city, upon an airy road and on a pleasant spot of ground. The ultimate outcome of the suburb's alienation from the city became visible only in the twentieth century. In the mass movement into suburban areas a new kind of community was produced, which caricatured both the historic city and the archetypal suburban refuge: a multitude of uniform, unidentifiable houses, lined up inflexibly, at uniform distances, on uniform roads, in a treeless communal waste, inhabited by people of the same class, the same income, the same age group, witnessing the same television performances, eating the same tasteless pre-fabricated foods, from the same freezers, conforming in every outward and inward respect to a common mould, manufactured in the central metropolis. Thus the ultimate effect of the suburban escape in our time is, ironically, a low-grade uniform environment from which escape is impossible. Mumford calls for careful urban planning so as to avoid formless suburban sprawl. 30
The Myth of Megalopolis • •
In Chapter “The Myth of Megalopolis” Mumford finally gets to the heart of his argument. Having railed against both too much bigness in city centers as causing alienation , and mass suburbia (what he calls the anti-city), as destroying nature and civic culture, he then returns Ebenezer Howard for his solution. He notes that Howard "saw that the growth of the big city was selfdefeating" and believed that "both the prevalent apoplexy of the urban center, and the paralysis at the extremities" could be overcome by proper planning. Against the purposeless mass congestion of the big metropolis, a more organic kind of city is opposed. Limited from the beginning in numbers and in density of habitation, limited in area, organised to carry on all the essential functions of an urban community, business, industry, administration, education; equipped too with a sufficient number of public parks and private gardens to guard health and keep the whole environment sweet’
Retrospect and Prospect •
• • •
Mumford culminates in his final chapter of book. He exhorts us to create renew the "good life" that the city is capable of having, while struggling against the "darker contributions of urban civilization: war, slavery, vocational overspecialization, and in many places, a persistent orientation toward death." According to Mumford, the chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into living symbols of art etc. We must now conceive the city according to the human personality, the old relation of man and nature. The final mission of city is to improve man’s conscious participation in the cosmic and historic process.