Released on 10 March 2016.

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Slow Burn City

London in the Twenty-First Century

4.42 based on 25 ratings & 1 reviews on


With a new introduction for the paperback.

London is a supreme achievement of civilization. It offers fulfilments of body and soul, encourages discovery and invention. It is a place of freedom, multiplicity and co-existence. It is a Liberal city, which means it stands for values now in peril.

London has also become its own worst enemy, testing to destruction the idea that the free market alone can build a city, a fantastical wealth machine that denies too many of its citizens a decent home or living.

In this thought-provoking, fearless, funny and subversive book, Rowan Moore shows how London’s strength depends on the creative and mutual interplay of three forces: people, business and state. To find responses to the challenges of the twenty-first century, London must rediscover its genius for popular action and bold public intervention.

The global city above all others, London is the best place to understand the way the world’s cities are changing. It could also be, in the shape of a living, churning city of more than eight million people, the most powerful counter-argument to the extremist politics of the present.

In the media

[Deserves] to be celebrated for enriching our understanding of the city we live in . . . Slow Burn City by Rowan Moore looks at how our metropolis is changing, and the terrible damage being done by soulless corporate developments and volume house-builders. The book argues that London is something like an organic entity that goes through long cycles of expansion and decay. Today, after a period of untrammelled growth, Moore concludes that ambitious action is needed to ensure the city remains healthy and sustainable
Evening Standard
I usually spend my time reading novels, but this year I was lucky to be a judge of the Baillie Gifford prize, so my reading was dominated by nonfiction. From that pile, I’d heartily recommend Rowan Moore’s brilliant SlowBurnCity
Moore knows London better than most. There is a great argument in this book - and an important one
Sunday Times