Housing and the City – Love vs. Hope
Daniel Solomon has written an engaging new book “Housing and the City, LOVE versus HOPE”—placing his own fifty-year career in a century of broad conflict between two antagonistic conceptions of the modern; one which sought to eradicate the pre-modern city and another that treated it with reverence.
Cities surround us, housing defines our existence, our minds are flooded by the apparent reality and what we perceive us real, what we perceive as important, what do we love, what we dislike and what we hope it will improve someday. Roaming the world today enriches our lives bringing forward different cultures, different apparent realities, a different “real”, sometimes grim, sometimes cheerful. And yet, often we do not see the difference.
One happens to glance at Rome a day and on Amsterdam another, proceeds towards Copenhagen and returns home to Paris, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Prague, Budapest or Bucharest and wonders, what was the difference between these place, what I loved about one and disliked about the other, why Prague felt similar to Bucharest but better and yet Bucharest is renown as the “little Paris”?! Why Berlin feels beautiful yet distressed while Rome slides into one’s heart in an instant?! Have you ever wondered what made you feel at home in a completely new city? Have you tried to understand a city and the urban fabric around you? If you ever shown interest in housing and the city, this books is for you, whether you are a professional; an urban planner, an architect, designer or an avid travel, this book will amaze you.
Housing is a matter of great urgency around the world. In cities that drive technological change and staggering wealth, there is a fierce struggle over two different models of creating affordable living conditions for working people, the poor, and immigrants. In this thoughtful book, Solomon explores the successes and failures of cities such as San Francisco, Paris, and Rome in a century-long battle between the so- called City of Hope, which sought to replace traditional urban fabric with more rational housing patterns, and the City of Love—love of the city’s layered history and respect for its intricate social fabric.
Solomon demonstrates how the City of Hope has repeatedly failed its social purpose and driven a hot wedge into society’s latent divisions, while the City of Love has succeeded as the portal of assimilation and social harmony. Interwoven with stories from Solomon’s own fifty-year career, this engaging book adds a powerful new voice to the housing discussion. It will appeal to planners, architects, and lay people interested in cities as places of continuity, resilience, and refuge
Text by Anton G.