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The London Society has a fabulous competition prize for your delectation.

Des Fitzgerald’s book The City of Today is a Dying Thing, published by Faber, has been called “Lively, irreverent and insightful”, according to writer Lauren Elkin.

John Grindrod, author of books about British architecture says “It reads like Jon Ronson let loose on city planners; endlessly funny and outrageously caustic.”

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Des Fitzgerald takes us on a journey into the future of urban life, from shimmering edifices in the Arizona desert to forest-bathing in deepest Wales, and from rats in mazes to neuroscientific studies of the effects of our surroundings.

Along the way, he reveals the deep-lying and often controversial roots of today’s green city movement, and offers an argument for celebrating our cities as they are – in all their raucous, constructed and artificial glory.

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Cities are bad for us: polluted, noisy and fundamentally unnatural. We need green space, not concrete. Trees, not tower blocks. So goes the argument. But is it true? What would the city of the future look like if we tried to build a better life from the ground up? And would anyone want to live there?

Book review of The City Of Today Is A Dying Thing

Des Fitzgerald is professor of medical humanities and social sciences at University College Cork. He was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize for sociology in 2017, and named a ‘New Generation Thinker’ by the BBC and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. He lives in Cork.


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