Designing Utopia: John Ruskin's Urban Vision for Britain and America
Michael H. Lang
Designing Utopia presents a broad overview of John Ruskin's life: the development of his views on architecture and urban design, as well as his views on social justice; how his vision was developed in his writings; and his efforts at practical application of that vision, in particular his efforts to build a guild based society. As well, it analyses how Ruskin's urban vision influenced the work of a long line of progressive architects and planners, and the buildings and communities they designed -- modern urban designers such as Lewis Mumford, Patrick Geddes, and Ebenezer Howard. The work of these figures are then related to current practitioners of the New Urbanism such as Duaney and Plater-Zyberk.
"Michael Land has shown, for the first time, the remarkable influence of John Ruskin on the origins of the nineteenth-century city planning movement. This book deserves to be widely read by planning historians and all those concerned with the main currents of Victorian thought." – Sir Peter Hall, FBA, MAE, PhD, HonMRTPI, Professor of Planning, Bartlett School of Architecture, Enivornmental Design and Planning, University College, London
"Most valuable ... reminds us of the continuing debt owed by Anglo-American urban planning to the physical and social ideal of community ... as contrasted with a present reality of planning that is too often merely a means of protecting already powerful interests." – Professor Stephen V. Ward, School of Planning, Oxford Brookes University
Michael H. Lang is Associate Professor and Chair at the Department of Urban Studies and Community Planning, Rutgers University, in Camden, New Jersey. He is the author of Homelessness Amid Affluence and Gentrification Amid Urban Decline.