Dream Cities: Pub date January 26, 2015

DreamCities cvr smDream Cities: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World will be released by HarperCollins on January 26, 2015.

Press release:


Publicity Contact: Martin Wilson, 212-207-7170, Martin.Wilson@harpercollins.com

“An intriguing architectural history and an effective antidote to the excesses of urban renewal and city planning.”



DREAM CITIES: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World

By Wade Graham

In DREAM CITIES: Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World (Harper; On Sale January 26, 2016; $29.99, 336 pages with illustrations; ISBN 978-0-06-219631-6) landscape designer and historian Wade Graham follows his acclaimed American Eden with a lively, accessible cultural history of modern cities seen through the lens of the architects and movements behind them. Readers will come away with news ways to view their surroundings, as DREAM CITIES reveals where our urban environments come from, how they shape us, and how we in turn shape them.

As Graham writes in his introduction, DREAM CITIES “is a book that explores our cities in a new way—as expressions of ideas, often conflicting, about how we should live, work, play, make, buy, and believe. It tells the stories of the real architects and thinkers whose dreamed-of cities became the blueprints for the world we actually live in.” These concepts —sometimes utopian, sometimes outlandish, always controversial—were gradually adopted and constructed on a massive scale in international cities, from Dubai to Ulan Bator to London and Los Angeles.

Graham uses the lives of the pivotal dreamers behind these concepts, as well as their acolytes and antagonists, to deconstruct our urban landscapes—the houses, towers, civic centers, condominiums, shopping malls, museums and monuments, boulevards, highways, and spaces in between—exposing the ideals and ideas embodied in each.

From the baroque fantasy villages of Bertram Goodhue to the superblocks of Le Corbusier’s Radiant City to the pseudo-agrarian dispersal of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Broadacre City, our upscale leafy suburbs, downtown skyscraper districts, infotainment-driven shopping malls, and “sustainable” eco-developments come into sharper focus through Graham’s thoughtful consideration.

Elegantly designed and illustrated, DREAM CITIES serves as a field guide to our modern urban world, giving readers the tools to identify the architectures all around them and to recognize how these architectures actively affect their daily lives.


Wade Graham is a Los Angeles-based garden designer, historian, and writer whose work on the environment, landscape, urbanism, and the arts has appeared in the New Yorker, Harper’s, the Los Angeles Times, Outside, and other publications. An adjunct professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, he is the author of American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are.


Seven Urban Ideas That Shape the World

By Wade Graham

On-Sale Date: January 26, 2015

Harper; $29.99, 336 pages with 59 black-and-white photos throughout

ISBN 978-0-06-219631-6