This book is a critical reappraisal of contemporary theories of urban planning and design and of the role of the architect-planner in an urban context. The authors, rejecting the grand utopian visions of "total planning" and "total design," propose instead a "collage city" which can accommodate a whole range of utopias in miniature.
Coming upon this book in rather a skeptical state of mind, I must say I found it intriguing, enlightening, brilliant, witty, and exasperating as it pursued its thesis with a species of grammatical acrobatics that I can only call arresting. This is a book about the ideologies of modern architecture, their philosophical origins, their manifestations, and the ways in which they are flawed. It is a book about architects who had and have conceptions about the ideal city, and it tries to reorient those conceptions from the utopia of a single vision to a more multivalent view of city form.