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The following are among the most recent new or revised entries to The Dictionary of Urbanism. These changes appear in the continuously updated online supplement, which will be incorporated into the printed dictionary’s next edition.

28 November

re-imagine (also reimagine) To explore radical new possibilities. Example: ‘Princeton architects reimagine World Trade Center site’ (headline in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin in 2002); ‘Students re-imagine city landmarks’ (student bulletin in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001). Paul Finch, interim chairman of the commission for architecture and the built environment, used the term in his foreword to the commission’s 2003/04 annual report (published in August 2004). Elected members, planners and housing professionals, among others, needed to be helped ‘to think again about their role’, Finch wrote. ‘We all need to re-imagine ourselves as a body of professionals before we can re-imagine the buildings and spaces where we live and work’. Re-imagine! was the title of a 2003 book by the management guru Tom Peters exploring radical ways of overcoming outdated, traditional company values. In 1993 the ‘Re-imagining’ conference (re-imagining God, and challenging traditional doctrines and symbols) was held in Minneapolis as part of the Ecumenical Decade.


20 November

Guggenheim effect The same as the Bilbao effect, named after Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum.

How’m I doing? A catchphrase of Ed Koch, mayor of New York 1977-89.

icon-monger A pejorative term for an architect who designs buildings intended to become icons, whether or not that is appropriate.


6 November

ghetto bird (US) A police helicopter.

residentialise (transitive) To increase the amount of residential accommodation in an area previously dominated by other uses. The term is also used intransitively.

retail elephant A business that dominates an area.

veduta A painting or drawing of a town or city, from the Italian for ‘view’. A verduta ideate is an imaginary view.

vedutista An artist, such as Canaletto and Piranesi, who creates vedutas (veduti).


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illustration from the Dictionary of Urbanism
Cities are places for people who can stand the heat of the kitchen.
Peter Hall