Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985– edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

Reviewed by
October 2018, no. 405
Sara Savage reviews 'Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985–' edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985–

edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

Melbourne University Press, $44.99 pb, 319 pp, 9780522871661

Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985– edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

Reviewed by
October 2018, no. 405

In her influential 1961 text The Death and Life of Great American Cities, American-Canadian urban activist Jane Jacobs famously characterised the complex order of a successful city as ‘an intricate ballet’. The ‘dance’ of a thriving city sidewalk, says Jacobs, bucks trends of uniformity and repetition in favour of improvisation, movement, and change.

It should come as no surprise, then, that a book named Urban Choreography draws heavily on Jacobs’s work. In their introduction, co-editors Kim Dovey and Ronald Jones shed further light on their choice of title: ‘A city is not a static object but an assemblage of interconnections between people and place. … Urban choreography is the practice of shepherding, of seeking to ensure that synergy and harmony prevail over chaos, but it is not micromanagement of the form or the life of a city.’’

Sara Savage reviews 'Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985–' edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

Urban Choreography: Central Melbourne 1985–

edited by Kim Dovey, Rob Adams, and Ronald Jones

Melbourne University Press, $44.99 pb, 319 pp, 9780522871661

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