Vertical: The City from Satellites to Bunkers

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We live in an increasingly stacked world. Buildings climb ever higher into the sky, sublevels breed subsublevels, and the scarcity of real estate met with a booming population means that more and more people will find themselves living above or below others.

Vertical is all about helping readers adjust to viewing the world in three dimensions instead of two, altering our top-down view of our planet by taking us from the soaring heights of satellites, bombers, and drones all the way down into the sewers, basements, and support systems that make our cities function. Along the way, Graham builds a new vocabulary of concepts to help us understand three-dimensional city life; iceberg houses, elevator dependency, vanity height, air scarcity…these aren’t just buzzwords, they’re important terms to know going forward.

And although it’s not intended to be an ecological commentary on humanity’s influence on the world, it makes for a very effective one, highlighting our shortsightedness and selfishness, stratified inequalities, and outright appalling events (like deadly trashslides) that result from our efforts. Heck, there’s a story in here about a skyscraper inhabited by a single family. Lunacy!

Vertical is not just a fascinating road map going forward, it’s a warning.

Reviewed By:

Author Stephen Graham
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 416 pages
Publisher Verso
Publish Date 2016-10-11
ISBN 9781781687932 Buy this Book
Issue December 2016
Category Current Events & Politics


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