Icon 111: Restless Cities 06.08.12

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Icon 111: Restless Cities

It's 20 years since the brutal police beating of Rodney King (who died this June) catalysed the Los Angeles riots, resulting in a billion dollars of damage. It's also the anniversary of the police killing of Mark Duggan, which led to the unrest that combusted London and several other English cities. In this issue of Icon we look at cities in flux and on the edge.

David Harvey, author of Rebel Cities, thinks that healthy civic life is built on dynamic battles and negotiations. "A conflictual city is always a much more engaging thing," he tells Icon. "The big problem is to have a conflictual city where people are not killing each other."

Geoff Manaugh writes about how US military planners are taking the problem of the so-called "feral city" seriously, and wonders if urbanists have an adequate response to the generals.

Justin McGuirk takes a road trip around the periphery of São Paulo. Many of the inhabitants of the favelas he tours, a forgotten underclass, now find themselves threatened with eviction in the build up to the 2012 football World Cup.

And Debika Ray writes about a plan to found new autonomous cities, run by foreign countries, in the developing world. But will the results be successful free-enterprise zones, or slums?

Up front we look at SO-IL's veiled gallery in Seoul, a blue starburst at MoMA PS1, lampshades by Issey Miyake, young designers on the French Riviera, Carmody Groarke's filling station and FormaFantasma's unusual approach to leather.

And in Review: graphic satire from Norway, Belgrade Design Week, a guidebook for the urban age, an unusual photographic portrait of London, and parties in parking lots.


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