City Talks

City Talks: Why cities look the way they do

Richard Williams, a contemporary visual culture expert, explores how the appearance of cities is determined by large-scale processes that are outside our control rather than by intentional design decisions

Podcast published on 22 May 2019

A basic assumption about the appearance of cities is that they look the way they do because of intentional design decisions made by people or bodies, such as planners and architects. But what if the look of cities had less to do with design and more to do with social, cultural, financial and political processes – as well as the way ordinary citizens interact with them?

To debate this question, Andrew Carter is joined by Richard Williams, Professor of Contemporary Visual Culture at the University of Edinburgh and the author of Why Cities Look the Way They Do, which is the subject of this episode.

This episode is part of the Centre for Cities City Talks series. Please rate, review and share the episode if you enjoyed it.

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