Along the twentieth century, the extension, the importance and the complexity of cities has increased at a dizzying speed. Furthermore, statistics show that this situation will be even more noticeable in the twentyfirst century and, for the first time in history, the majority of the world population will be living in urban areas; thus, rural areas will be subordinated to the political, economical, social and cultural networks of the metropolis.

This accelerated growth has not had an efficient response by architects, urban planners, politicians and building firms, and cities have become the centre of poverty and unemployment; they have created ghettos and marginalization, becoming, then, a scenario for horrifying inequalities, and consequently, for insecurity. And current politics, do not seem to be ready to change this situation.

This publication is not willing to offer straight solutions to these problems. Rather, it tries to present a multidisciplinary approach to these issues that might help to analyse thoroughly such a complex reality, suggesting a plurality of analysis that could be useful in order to create more exhaustive responses.

With this purpose, we gathered five experts from the fields of urban planning, design, philosophy, sociology and architecture, whose influential work and successful careers show a critical and open view on the current problems of our societies.

This theoretical analysis includes several photographs and illustrations that support some of the ideas proposed in these texts and contribute to perceive these issues in a more visual and direct way.


Juan López-Aranguren Blázquez (Basurama).

Translation: Natalie Gómez Handford and Ana Fernandez-Caparrós Turina