Indeed, city critics should write about everything: their subject is a nexus of subjects. Ada Louise Huxtable concerned herself with not just her official beat of architecture at the New York Times and later the Wall Street Journal, but also development economics and the policy of land use and transportation; the ultra-opinionated Ian Nairn savaged postwar Britain’s uninspired buildings and even less inspired city planning; the New Yorker’s architecture critic Mumford wrote about highways, housing and planning, but also literature, technology and politics. And longtime writer on the built environment Karrie Jacobs points out that most writers on cities currently “either focus on urban problems or urban pleasures,” whereas “in truth, the problems and the pleasures have a symbiotic relationship,” which any critic worthy of the title understands.

From ‘A way of learning from everything’: the rise of the city critic by Colin Marshall (via Andrew Small)

Architecture Cities Journalism Urban Planning Writing

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