‘‘Concrete jungle’ is the classic criticism of Modernist cities. The phrase was first used in a Billy Wilder movie to describe a sterile leafless view from an apartment in New York City (image, above top). Instead, cities should be richly vegetated and full of life. An abundance of living walls and roofs is likely to become the most visible difference between the cities of the 20th and 21st centuries.’ (Landscape Architecture, 2017 Chapter 8).
In The Lost Weekend (starring Ray Milland and Jane Wyman) the image and the phrase were used to symbolise what was wrong with twentieth century cities. Let’s hope that by 2045 ‘Green Jungle’ will be in use to symbolise two things that were done right in twenty first century cities: living green walls and living green roofs. But jangal , the Hindi word from which the English word jungle derives, meant ‘uncultivated ground’, which could be desert, forest or wasteland, so we are going to need a better term. I invite a future author to write on How Concrete Jungles became Green Cities. The word ‘city’ has a Latin origin and is related to citizen, civis and civilised.
The book from which the image is taken will be available as a free Amazon Kindle download from 10-14 September Pacific Standard Time