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The Urban Revolution

Henri Lefebvre, Robert Bononno and Neil Smith

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Originally published in 1970, The Urban Revolution marked Henri Lefebvre's first sustained critique of urban society, a work in which he pioneered the use of semiotic, structuralist, and poststructuralist methodologies in analysing the development of the urban environment. Although it is widely considered a foundational book in contemporary thinking about the city, The Urban Revolution has never been translated into English until now. This first English edition makes available to a broad audience Lefebvre's sophisticated insights into the urban dimensions of modern life.

Lefebvre begins with the premise that the total urbanisation of society is an inevitable process that demands of its critics new interpretive and perceptual approaches that recognise the urban as a complex field of inquiry. Dismissive of cold, modernist visions of the city, particularly those embodied by rationalist architects and urban planners like Le Corbusier, Lefebvre instead articulates the lived experiences of individual inhabitants of the city. In contrast to the ideology of urbanism and its reliance on commodification and bureaucratisation-- the capitalist logic of market and state-- Lefebvre conceives of an urban utopia characterised by self-determination, individual creativity, and authentic social relationships.

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