When first published in Italy, this book sold out in months. It stirred much media interest and was widely welcomed across the political spectrum and in scholarly circles. Now available in English in an updated version, The Urban Village introduces the concept of self-sustainable local development based on each locality's territorial specificities and traditions. After exploring the significance of local development in all its political, social and technical dimensions, Professor Magnaghi sets out a concrete vision for a new urban regional 'utopia'. He proposes, in addition to conventional indices of wealth and income, other criteria of social progress - including quality of life, social solidarity, and the development of non-commercial caring relations. Only when local communities value their local heritages, he argues, and build themselves on a basis of local economic self-government, will they be able to resist the colonization and marginalization that globalization so often inflicts on them.
At a time when the idea of the local, the demand for genuine decentralization capable of building effective community-level self-governing institutions, innovative democratic experiments, and ecological sustainability are all attracting more public interest, Alberto Magnaghi's blend of theoretical thinking and practical proposals is likely to prove a source of inspiration for politicians, planners and citizens wrestling with the challenge of building urban and rural communities.