Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City” as Want to Read:
Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Building and Dwelling summarises a lifetime's thought about what makes cities work - or not - to the benefit of their communities

In this sweeping study, one of the world's leading thinkers about the urban environment traces the often anguished relation between how cities are built and how people live in them, from ancient Athens to twenty-first-century Shanghai. Richard
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published February 22nd 2018 by Allen Lane
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Building and Dwelling, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Building and Dwelling

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  232 ratings  ·  24 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City
Nicolas Levy
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Building and Dwelling is one of the best books I have read in the past couple years in terms of influencing my thinking about a particular subject. In this book, Richard Sennett weaves together history, philosophy, literature, and plenty of urban design theory to provide a comprehensive overview of what makes for the "good life" in the city, and how urban design policies can contribute to or detract from this ideal. Each chapter references pioneers in the field of urban design and/or urban ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
My biggest takeaway from this book is an intellectual foundation for long-held beliefs about life in the city. Why do I despise top-down civil planning like smart cities, gated societies and open-plan offices? What are my motivations in being a flaneur in cities that are unknown to me as a migrant or as a tourist? What is the appeal of neighbourhoods that have evolved over generations through a process of accretion, as opposed to ones that are artificial simulations?

At the same time, this book
Rick Lindeman
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stadsleven in Schoonhoven

Een veer bracht me van de week in Schoonhoven, de zilverstad aan de Lek. Ik was er nog nooit geweest. Het leek me mooi om inzichten die ik aan het opdoen was uit Richard Sennetts nieuwe meesterwerk Stadsleven te toetsen in een verse omgeving.

In het boek beschrijft Sennett (Chicago, 1943) de spanning tussen de Ville en de Citè, tussen de gebouwde omgeving en de gemeenschap, tussen de stenen en het stedelijk leven. De oorspronkelijke Engelse titel omschrijft het als
Lisa Månljus
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I choose to read this book in order to get introduced to the realm of urban studies, and Sennett introduced me perfectly. The book entails Sennett's personal experiences as an urban planner/consultant of such in worldwide projects while also discussing philosophical and sociologist thought in a tangible way. On top of this, it's beautifully idealistic and with a certain liberal bent that left me hopeful that such an open city could actually exist, and left me hungry to be part of shaping my city ...more
Hrafnkell Úlfur
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: óskáldað
Vel skrifað inngangsrit fyrir þá sem að vilja kynna sér pælingar í kringum arkitektúr og borgarskipulag.
Dan Sumption
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: cities, non-fiction
In this book Richard Sennett talks about the "ville" and the "cité", i.e. the built environment and the life that goes on in that environment, and tries to identify how urban planners can design cities that are good to live in. It's a very meandering discussion, taking in literature, philosophy and many other fields as well as talking about the design of cities from Chicago to Paris, Medellin to New Delhi. I found the book rather hard to follow at key points - Sennett often talks in metaphor and ...more
Víctor Juan abelló
El meu interès per la història de les ciutats i lurbanisme i la meva preocupació pel present de ciutats com Barcelona em van portar cap aquest llibre. I nhe après molt. A mig camí entre lurbanisme i la sociologia, Sennett veu les ciutats com entitats que es construeixen, però també que es viuen. A partir daquí, el més important, proposa. I tot això sense perdre el caràcter divulgatiu. ...more
Lisa Wright
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sennett draws together numerous threads to demonstrate the folly of designing a city and expecting people to use it the way you planned. If you have ANY interest in urban design this is essential reading.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rich, full of ideas and optimistic. Sennet makes the case for an open city and uses philosophers like Hegel, Heidegger, Ahrendt and Kant to substantiate this.
Gerben Helleman
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Nowadays we make cities to much as a closed system: uniform, lineair, and controlled. Instead of this 'Closed City' we need an 'Open City' where citizens actively hash out their differences and planners experiment with urban forms that make it easier for residents to cope. This is the main message of urban socialist Richard Sennett in his new book 'Building and Dwelling'.
An inspiring book with a strong and important message that reads wonderfully due to several anecdotes, interesting historical
Charlotte Van Tuyckom
Een weergaloos boek, kopte de Volkskrant. Altijd sceptisch dan, maar deze keer is dit niet overdreven! Sennett gebruik elementen uit de filosofie, (sociale) psychologie, sociologie en vooral architectuur en planologie om de kloof te duiden tussen de ville en de cité, tussen het gebouwde en het geleefde. Tegenover de moderne gesloten steden, pleit hij voor de open stad waarin niet alles strikt gepland is en bijgevolg rekening kan gehouden worden met onvoorspelbaarheden (bv. plotse migratie, ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Het boek is veel beter dan de Nederlandse vertaling recht aan doet. Het staat vol kromlopende zinnen en vertalingen die je haast transliteraties mag noemen, en verder gewoon een aantal slordigheden.

Ik raad het boek zeker aan voor wie sociologie, (sociale) planologie of filosofie interessant vindt. Ik heb zelf geen achtergrond ik een van deze velden, maar Sennett onderbouwt zijn verhaal met de gedachten van 's werelds grootste denkers, geschiedenis en zijn eigen ervaringen.

Wel zou ik iedereen
I received a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway.

This book is about urban planning and city development. I thought it would be more sociological in nature than it actually is. The author writes about various city planners and how their ideas are different and how they work for the city in which they designed. I thought one of the more interesting passages was about the development of Central Park in NYC.
Adrian Bennetts
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A hard book to review, it certainly requires some knowledge of architecture and design before reading it, so it's appeal is limited to the masses. The writing is also very much that of a sociologists.

But behind the flowery prose and obscure references there is a genuinely intriguing book.

A book to recommend if you find its general topic (that of cities, planning, design, architecture and sociology) interesting, but perhaps not if your interests lie elsewhere.
Jordi Martinez
Jan 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
An excellent book about urban planning from the 60s until now, covering the whole world from New York to Medellin to Shanghai and more. The author has been publishing insightful books for years, and that gets clear in his style, which is clean and efective, though sometimes a bit too academic, like those summaries at the end of sections as it books a book for students.
Derek Ouyang
Best book about cities I've read in a while. Sennett takes extreme poetic liberties with urban history and theory, but for the sake of a deeply satisfying tapestry that gets the most important ideas right.
As someone who walks the city constantly and will never stop, I never stop wanting to think about how the city works. We all need to be thinking about it, all the time.
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Quite difficult to read, but interesting. Eye opening conclusions about openness, the danger of things like the googleplex and smart cities dumbing a civilisation down.
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinerend boek over hoe steden fysiek zijn gebouwd en hoe er in geleefd kan worden en hoe dat op elkaar inwerkt.
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
How do we speak truth to power? Not by crying out you hurt me, but rather by declaring what you do is wrong.

Richard Sennett, Building and Dwelling, p. 296
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, been adding post-its to pages as the theories inspire me
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Really wanted to like this but it just got so philosophical and name-droppy that I felt the main point of urbanism was lost in an effort to flex on his readers.

There are many points of interesting within these pages, but the few paragraphs isn't worth slogging through the book.

The main, if you can call it, argument is that there is a difference between ville and cité. Ville is the physical space of the city/location while cité is the culture and feeling in that space. I found that concept
rated it it was ok
May 11, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2019
Paula Veidenbauma
rated it it was amazing
Jan 10, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Jun 20, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2019
Andrew Thies
rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2020
Natan Hertogen
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • De Bourgondiërs: Aartsvaders van de Lage Landen
  • Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution
  • Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now
  • Uppgång & fall
  • Whites, Jews, and Us: Toward a Politics of Revolutionary Love
  • The Language of Cities
  • Hoe gaan we dit uitleggen
  • We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights
  • The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties
  • Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution
  • The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World
  • De nieuwe keizer
  • New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future
  • Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet
  • Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity
  • Vastas Emoções e Pensamentos Imperfeitos
  • Kirchner, el tipo que supo
  • Una historia del peronismo
See similar books…
Richard Sennett has explored how individuals and groups make social and cultural sense of material facts -- about the cities in which they live and about the labour they do. He focuses on how people can become competent interpreters of their own experience, despite the obstacles society may put in their way. His research entails ethnography, history, and social theory. As a social analyst, Mr. ...more

News & Interviews

Regular readers of romance know that the genre is currently chock-full of fresh plotlines and heroines who save themselves (and sometimes the he...
140 likes · 59 comments
“city’ meant two different things – one a physical place, the other a mentality compiled from perceptions, behaviours and beliefs.” 0 likes
“the built environment is one thing, how people dwell in it another.” 0 likes
More quotes…