“Soft city”, soft knowledge and city narratives

What constitutes an appropriate form of knowledge in terms of policy and planning? And what forms of knowledge can be reasonably taken into consideration when planning and studying cities? Moving back to Jonathan Raban’s idea of the “soft city” – and at the same time, to the notion that much of that soft knowledge we have of “soft cities” is available in the forms of narratives – and may require specific considerations informed by narrative studies/theory to fully appreciate their layered meanings.

“… living in cities is an art […] The city as we imagine it, the soft city of illusion, myth, aspiration, nightmare, is as real, maybe more real, than the hard city one can locate on maps in statistics, in monographs on urban sociology and demography and architecture (Raban 1975, 10)

Jonathan Raban 1975: Soft City. London: Harvill.

Leave a Reply