-- Author, Editor, Educator --
Emerson College
Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities


Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities.(Book review)

[Note: Originally published by Carroll & Graf; now available from Running Press /​ Perseus Books]

Marshall, Alex (author), David Emblidge (editor). Beneath the Metropolis: The Secret Lives of Cities. Carroll & Graf. Nov. 2006. c.268p, illus, maps. index. ISBN 0-78671-864-1 [ISBN 978-0-78671-864-1]. $29.95. HIST

Independent journalist Marshall (How Cities Work) presents a unique and colorful view of the subterranean environments of 12 world cities. The comparatively recent settlements of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Sydney are joined here by the modernizing conurbations of Mexico City, Paris, Rome, London, Moscow, Cairo, Tokyo, and Beijing. Marshall occasionally draws parallels to other cities, such as Venice, Montreal, and Boston. Utilizing interviews with architects, engineers, and planners, as well as print sources, web sites, and some on-site visits, the author details the meandering underground networks that have evolved to convey people, water, electricity, effluvia, and telecommunications. Each city has faced obstacles imposed by its geology, archaeological history, and political and social constraints. Relying on either current or past watercourses, most did not make much use of underground potential before 1800, except for Rome with its catacombs. Thereafter, alternatively cooperating and competing public and private actors constructed these cities' underground elements. Lavishly illustrated, not footnoted but with a bibliography, this volume is aimed at the general reader. Recommended for public libraries, for urban enthusiasts and armchair travelers.--Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Library of Congress

Full Text:COPYRIGHT 2006 Reed Business Information, Inc. (US)


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