Daniel Brook: A History of Future Cities
Every month, five million people move from the past to the future. Pouring into developing-world “instant cities” like Dubai and Shenzhen, these urban newcomers confront a modern world cobbled together from fragments of a West they have never seen. Do these fantastical boomtowns, where blueprints spring to life overnight on virgin land, represent the dawning of a brave new world? Or is their vaunted newness a mirage?
In a captivating blend of history and reportage, Daniel Brook travels to a series of major metropolitan hubs that were once themselves instant cities—St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Mumbai—to watch their “dress rehearsals for the twenty-first century.” Understanding today’s emerging global order, he argues, requires comprehending the West’s profound and conflicted influence on developing-world cities over the centuries.
Registration and Reception: 6:30 pm
Program: 7:00 pm
About the Author
Daniel Brook is a journalist whose work has appeared in publications including Harper’s, The Nation, and Slate, and the author of The Trap: Selling Out to Stay Afloat in Winner-Take-All America.
His architecture writing won the 2010 Winterhouse Award for Design Writing and Criticism. To research A History of Future Cities, Brook lived for a month each in St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai and conducted archival research on a semester-long fellowship at the Library of Congress. Originally from New York and educated at Yale University, Brook lives in New Orleans.