The Culture and Craft of Practical Urbanism

Drawing on six years as the founding editor of Urban Omnibus, the Architectural League’s online publication on the culture of city making, Cassim Shepard offers a vivid account of how the idea of the city today is evolving: no longer the domain of just planners, politicians, and power brokers removed from the effects of their decisions, cities are made by an array of committed citizens, including unheralded community activists, public servants, designers, artists, ecologists, and more. Engaging a broad sweep of intellectual history, he places these new practitioners in fresh dialogue with thinkers from across the diverse canons of urban theory, drawing from economics, sociology, architecture, and art history. With original photography by Alex Fradkin, the book combines rich imagery of contemporary New York with a compelling narrative that revises traditional notions of urban intervention and provides new directions for the next generation of citizen-practitioners.

Citymakers is that rare wonder: a solidly researched, compelling argument for a reinvention of urbanism, told in beautiful prose that is accessible to anyone who is interested in how cities work.” Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

—Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

“To respond to a contemporary urban condition challenged by growing inequality and rising seas, designers must engage the creative coalitions emerging among citizen-activists, ecologists, artists, and public servants. In Citymakers, Cassim Shepard suggests new methods of engagement, offering a vital account of how—and by whom—cities are made today.”

—Sir David Adjaye, architect