Book ID: CBB322385433

The fabric of space: Water, modernity, and the urban imagination (2014)


Gandy, Matthew (Author)

MIT Press

Publication Date: 2014
Physical Details: 351
Language: English

Water lies at the intersection of landscape and infrastructure, crossing between visible and invisible domains of urban space, in the tanks and buckets of the global South and the vast subterranean technological networks of the global North. In this book, Matthew Gandy considers the cultural and material significance of water through the experiences of six cities: Paris, Berlin, Lagos, Mumbai, Los Angeles, and London. Tracing the evolving relationships among modernity, nature, and the urban imagination, from different vantage points and through different periods, Gandy uses water as a lens through which to observe both the ambiguities and the limits of nature as conventionally understood. Gandy begins with the Parisian sewers of the nineteenth century, captured in the photographs of Nadar, and the reconstruction of subterranean Paris. He moves on to Weimar-era Berlin and its protection of public access to lakes for swimming, the culmination of efforts to reconnect the city with nature. He considers the threat of malaria in Lagos, where changing geopolitical circumstances led to large-scale swamp drainage in the 1940s. He shows how the dysfunctional water infrastructure of Mumbai offers a vivid expression of persistent social inequality in a postcolonial city. He explores the incongruous concrete landscapes of the Los Angeles River. Finally, Gandy uses the fictional scenario of a partially submerged London as the starting point for an investigation of the actual hydrological threats facing that city.

Reviewed By

Review Maurits Ertsen (July 2016) Review of "The fabric of space: Water, modernity, and the urban imagination". Technology and Culture (pp. 684-685). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Melosi, Martin V.; (2011)
Precious Commodity: Providing Water for America's Cities (/isis/citation/CBB001212518/)

Article Fonseca, Alberto; Prado Filho, José Francisco do; (2010)
Um esquecido marco do saneamento no Brasil: o sistema de águas e esgotos de Ouro Preto (1887--1890) (/isis/citation/CBB001420442/)

Book Matthew V. Bender; (2019)
Water brings no harm : management knowledge and the struggle for the waters of Kilimanjaro (/isis/citation/CBB806270320/)

Thesis Soppelsa, Peter S.; (2009)
The Fragility of Modernity: Infrastructure and Everyday Life in Paris, 1870--1914 (/isis/citation/CBB001560905/)

Book Levin, Miriam R.; (2010)
Urban Modernity: Cultural Innovation in the Second Industrial Revolution (/isis/citation/CBB001031314/)

Article Michael Holleran; (2022)
Water Qualities and Usage in the Zanjas of Los Angeles, 1781–1904 (/isis/citation/CBB101425694/)

Book John Broich; (2013)
London: Water and the Making of the Modern City (/isis/citation/CBB454439004/)

Book Schneider, Daniel; (2011)
Hybrid Nature: Sewage Treatment and the Contradictions of the Industrial Ecosystem (/isis/citation/CBB001221124/)

Book Jeremy J. Schmidt; (2019)
Water: Abundance, Scarcity, and Security in the Age of Humanity (/isis/citation/CBB568175092/)

Book Timothy Moss; (2020)
Remaking Berlin: A History of the City through Infrastructure, 1920–2020 (/isis/citation/CBB159764389/)

Book Tim Stroshane; (2016)
Drought, Water Law, and the Origins of California's Central Valley Project (/isis/citation/CBB260419535/)

Book Wishart, David J; (2013)
The Last Days of the Rainbelt (/isis/citation/CBB001420378/)

Thesis Peterson, Maya Karin; (2011)
Technologies of Rule: Empire, Water, and the Modernization of Central Asia, 1867--1941 (/isis/citation/CBB001567280/)

Article Isacar Bolaños; (2022)
Water, Engineers, and French Environmental Imaginaries of Ottoman Iraq, 1868–1908 (/isis/citation/CBB594251287/)

Authors & Contributors
Melosi, Martin
Flamming, Douglas
Nobles, Gregory
Dinçkal, Noyan
Nilsen, Micheline
Levin, Miriam R.
Environmental History
História, Ciências, Saúde---Manguinhos
East Asian Science, Technology and Society: An International Journal
Technikgeschichte: Beiträge zur Geschichte der Technik und Industrie
MIT Press
University of Pittsburgh Press
R. Oldenbourg
Palgrave Macmillan
The MIT Press
University of Nebraska Press
Water resource management
Water supply
Environmental history
Hydraulic engineering
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
United States
London (England)
Berlin (Germany)
Paris (France)
Great Britain
Los Angeles (California)
History of the Urban Environment Book Series

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment