Steve Graham has kindly sent me the page proofs of his new book, Vertical: the city from satellites to tunnels, due from Verso and Penguin/Random House in October/November (it’s already available as an e-book from Amazon).  The subtitle varies depending on where you look – the proofs have both ‘from satellites to tunnels’ and ‘from satellites to bunkers’, and you can find both in the ads – but whatever version they settle on it’s clear that this is yet another tour (sic) de force.

From the penthouse to the sewers—the political geography of the vertical city

Vertical is a brilliant re-imagining of the world we live in. Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map. In Vertical Stephen Graham rewrites the city at every level, calling for a a new understanding of our surroundings that takes into account above and below: why Dubai has been built to be seen from GoogleEarth; how the superrich in Sao Paulo live their penthouse lives far from the street; why London billionaires build vast subterranean basements rather than move house. Vertical will make you look at the city anew: from the viewfinders of drones, satellites, from the top of skyscrapers, at street-level and from underground bunkers: this is a new politics of space and geography.

It’s composed of an introduction (‘Going vertical’) and 15 essays:

Part One: Above

1 Satellite: Enigmatic presence

2 Bomber: Death from above

3 Drone: Robot imperium

4 Helicopter: Direct arrival

5 Favela: Tenuous city

6 Elevator/Lift: Going up

7 Skyscraper: Vanity and violence

8 Housing: Luxified skies

9 Skywalk/Skytrain/Skydeck: Multilevel cities

10 Air: Lethal domes

Part Two: Below

11 Ground: Making geology

12 Basement/cellar: Urban undergrounds

13 Sewer: Sociology and shit

14 Bunker/tunnel: Subsurface sanctuaries

15 Mine: Extractive imperialism on the deep frontier


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