2013 / Architecture / Urbanism / Theory
22 x 15
Hilary Sample is an architect, writer and an Assistant Professor of Architecture at Yale University.
Date of Release: Spring 2014
This publication is supported by the Hilles Publication Fund Grant, Yale University, USA
€ 24,50 [netherlands]
€ 27,50 [europe]
€ 29,50 [outside europe]
SICK CITY is a treatise on urban pathologies. A book about the relationships between design and disease. Beginning with the 21st century urban crises, severe acute respiratory syndrome, known by its acronym as SARS, claimed lives, infected thousands, quarantined tens of thousands, devastated economies and reconfigured urban infrastructures, most critically the hospital.
SICK CITY presents case studies of cities in crisis by examining reflexive infrastructures within the city. Disease and disaster are exacerbated within a globally mobile and interconnected world. SARS, originated in the Guangdong province in China and transported by airplane, surfaced in Europe, North and South America, and throughout Asia during 2003. A contagious and unpredictable disease, SARS was communicable by touch and through the air with the majority of all contact occurring in hospitals, hotels and airports became known as potential sites of transmission. SARS was strategically fought in the field of the city and particularly within transportation and public health networks. New modes of scanning and monitoring individuals for symptoms were introduced at international airports and city center hospitals.
Cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing and Toronto responded through measures of control in the form of quarantines, school closings and sealing off parts of the city. The international medical community formed new networks linking university and science labs with governmental research centers in Rotterdam, Atlanta and Winnipeg among others to track the outbreaks. Establishing episodes of surveillance led to a relatively complete system of control. Urban pathologies and their deviation from normal conditions become apparent through mapping of reflexive infrastructures, urban recovery and transitory urbanisms.
This study shows that maintenance and expansion for the future development of cities require flexibility especially in the face of unexpected or potential catastrophic events resulting in urban trauma.