Learning From Logistics: How Networks Change Our Cities

Clare Lyster

Birkhäuser 2016

Logistical networks are the DNA of urbanization. In the 19th century, railroads and canals provided both structure and stimulus for city development, while in the 20th century it was the highway that shaped urban settlements. This role has been taken over today by a new species of networks called logistics. Learning from Logistics: How Networks Change Our Cities explores a series of techno-mobility systems, (FedEx; Amazon; Ryan Air; Uber etc.,) that since the 1970s, increasingly choreograph the flow of materials, data and people around the world each day. Focus is on how these time-space networks shape space, and more significantly, on their implications for the city and for design thinking and practice. The book deliberates the agency of logistics as a spatial apparatus, by presenting logistics as a framework for urban production in an era when flow has emerged as the primary expression of urbanity. By extension, it posits how designers might embrace logistics, either by critically integrating its systems into the built environment; by appropriating logistical models for alternative ends, or, by projecting logistical thinking more radically to generate new configurations of urban space.

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Clare Lyster Urbanism and Architecture (CLUAA) 2023 — Chicago, Illinois