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Aerial view of yurts on land, on cover of 'Becoming Urban, City of Nomads', by ORO Editions.

Becoming Urban

City of Nomads

By (author) Joshua Bolchover


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  • This is the first book to investigate Mongolia’s transformation from nomadic to urban life 
  • Describes the unique settlement of the Ger districts, comprising traditional nomadic felt tents and detached houses, without any basic infrastructure
  • Includes built prototypes and design strategies to improve living conditions and assist in a strategy of incremental change
  • Positions the role of the architect as an active agent in the process of urban transformation
Full Description

This book positions Ulaanbaatar as a unique case and one that allows us to view our urban world differently. Operating as a primordial soup of emerging conditions, Ulaanbaatar is conceived as an incubator for alternative urban concepts. The book rejects the agency of the masterplan as an effective tool in emerging urban conditions and instead positions the framework as a tool for incremental urbanism.

Although specific to the Ger districts of Mongolia, the story of how people, communities, planners, and politicians are grappling with the effects of becoming urban remains one of the critical issues facing the 21st century. How this process will be materialised and organised spatially, and by whom, will have profound ramifications on the climate and the social and economic make-up of our future cities.

About the Author

Joshua Bolchover is an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong. His current research focuses on the complex urban-rural ecology of cities. He set up Rural Urban Framework with John Lin in 2005 with the remit to create a not-for-profit agency as a platform for design and research. Their projects have been internationally exhibited at the Venice Biennale 2020, 2018, 2016, the Design Museum London 2016, and the Chicago Biennale 2015. RUF’s work has been awarded the RIBA International Emerging Architect Award 2016 for the Angdong Hospital, the Curry Stone Design Prize 2015, the Ralph Erskine Prize 2014, and has received third place commendations for the Architectural Review’s Healthcare and Schools Award. Joshua’s recent publications include Border Ecologies: Hong Kong’s Mainland Frontier (Birkhauser, 2017), Designing the Rural: A Global Countryside in Flux (Architectural Design, 2016), and Rural Urban Framework: Transforming the Chinese Countryside (Birkhauser, 2014).

Look Inside
ORO Editions
1st Sep 2023
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA, Canada, Australasia & Asia (except Japan; China non-exclusive)
253 mm x 190 mm
192 Pages
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