The City That Never Was

Reconsidering the Speculative Nature of Contemporary Urbanization

Christopher Marcinkoski


     1 × 11 in (2.5 × 27.9 cm)
256 pages
150 color illustrations
Publication date: 01/12/2016
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781616893903

One of the most troubling consequences of the--2008 global financial collapse was the midstream abandonment of several large-scale speculative urban and suburban projects. The resulting scars on the landscape, large subdivisions with only marked-out plots and half-finished roads, are the subject of The City That Never Was, an eye-opening look at what happens when development, particularly what the author calls "speculative urbanism," is out-of-sync with financial reality. Presenting historical and recent examples from around the world---from the sprawl of the US Sun Belt and the unoccupied towns of western China, to the "ghost estates" of Ireland---and focusing on case studies in Spain, Marcinkoski proposes an ecologically based model in place of the capricious economic and political factors that typically drive development today.
  • In addition to an in-depth theoretical investigation, the author includes a history of speculative development, as well as numerous design examples for more responsible urban growth.

Christopher Marcinkoski is assistant professor of landscape architecture at the University of Pennsylvania.

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