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TitleThe art of city-making
ISBN 139781844072453
File Size16.0 MB
Total Pages497
Table of Contents
List of Boxes
List of Photographs
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Chapter One: Overture
	Cityness is Everywhere
Chapter Two: The Sensory Landscape of Cities
Chapter Three: Unhinged and Unbalanced
	The City as a Guzzling Beast
	Urban Logistics
	The Geography of Misery
	The Geography of Desire
	The Geography of Blandness
Chapter Four: Repertoires and Resistance
	Urban Repertoires
	Urban Resonance
	Borrowing the Landscape
	Urban Rituals
	A Coda: Urban Resistances
Chapter Five: The Complicated and the Complex
	The Forces of Change: Unscrambling Complexity
	Aligning Professional Mindsets
	Opening Mindsets and the Professions
	Blindspots in City-Making
Chapter Six: The City as a Living Work of Art
Chapter Seven: Creative Cities for the World
	The Management of Fragility: Creativity and the City
	‘Why I Think What I Think’
Document Text Contents
Page 2

The Art of City-Making

Page 248

confident, willing to listen or being pleasant. For this reason it is
not possible to say ‘every engineer or doctor is like this’. It is possi-
ble, though, to argue that each profession has a tendency, proclivity
or bias to look at issues in a certain way. From these ways of
looking, processes, procedures, techniques and practices, specific
technologies or traditions emerge and develop. Indeed it is this
focus that generates the advances in each discipline that we would
not want to do without. Once a set pattern has emerged this
becomes reinforced.

Mindflow is the mind in operation. The mind is locked into
certain patterns for good reason. It uses familiar thought processes,
concepts, connections and interpretations as a means of filtering
and coping with the world. The environment or context determines
what is seen, what is interpreted and what meaning is implied. For
example, when someone asks in English, ‘What does S-I-L-K spell?’
the answer given is, ‘Silk.’ When one then asks, ‘What do cows
drink?’ people will often respond, ‘Milk.’

A mindset is the order within which people structure their
worlds and how they make choices, both practical and idealistic,

The Complicated and the Complex 229

All professions have a
shape, a form, a mindset,
a gestalt that follows
them like a shadow

Source: Charles Landry

Page 249

based on values, philosophy, traditions and aspirations. The
mindset is our accustomed, convenient way of thinking and guide
to decision-making. It not only determines how we act in our
small local world, but also how we think and act on an ever-
increasingly encompassing stage. The mindset is the settled
summary of our prejudices and priorities and the rationalizations
we give them.

A changed mindset is a rerationalization of a person’s behav-
iour; people like their behaviour to be coherent – at least to
themselves. The crucial issue is how to get the urban professions to
change their approach systematically – but not piece by piece.

A mindshift is the process whereby the way one thinks of one’s
position, function and core ideas is dramatically reassessed and
changed. At its best it is based on the capacity to be open-minded
enough to allow this change to occur. At times this happens through
reflective observation of the world around. At others, possibly more
often, it occurs through external circumstance and is forced upon
individuals and groups through crisis.23

It is not only individuals, professions or collectives like compa-
nies that have a mindset, but also societies and periods of history.
For example, an era shaped by certain religious or ethical values is
affected by the dominant thinking; an era is also shaped by predom-
inant views of how right and wrong is established or by scientific
theories. Science is a method in the quest for truth, yet itself is a
particular approach. Within each period specific scientific para-
digms dominate over others. For example, the long-established idea
of holism, the idea that things are connected, was until recently
sidetracked and reductionism was in the ascendancy. The increased
awareness of complexity has challenged this primacy, which is why
in the political domain there is increased talk of joined-up, inte-
grated and holistic thinking. Yet governments’ aim to foster
joined-up thinking will only succeed if they forcefully challenge
certain entrenched scientific hierarchies. The power of reduction-
ism nevertheless lingers on as those at the height of their profession
and with power were probably educated 20 or 30 years ago and so
have had the reductionist mindset etched into them. We now know
we need to look both at the parts and the whole together.
Regretfully we always seem to be behind the times in realizing what
is necessary.

230 The Art of City-Making

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