“The Heart of the City” book

ZuccaroMarchi_The Heart of the City_Cover

Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi has published the book “The Heart of the City” (Routledge, 2018). The Heart of the City concept, which was introduced at CIAM 8 in 1951, has played an important role in architectural and urban debates. The Heart became the most important of the organic references used in the 1950s for defining a theory of urban form.

This book focuses on both the historical and theoretical reinterpretation of this seminal concept. Divided into two main sections, both looking at differing ways in which the Heart has influenced more recent urban thinking, it illustrates the continuity and the complexities of the Heart of the City.

In doing so, this book offers a new perspective on the significance of public space and shows how The Heart of the City still resonates closely with contemporary debates about centrality, identity and the design of public space. It would be of interest to architects, academics and students of urban design and planning.


“The Heart of the City throws light on the global impact of the important but often neglected 1951 CIAM VIII Conference at Hoddesdon UK that marked the shift from modernism to post modernism in European architectural and urban design. Zuccaro weaves a rich conceptual tapestry of many threads that unfolds brilliantly into current issues for architects, planner, historians and teachers alike.”

Grahame Shane, Columbia GSAPP, USA.

“In this pioneering book, Zuccaro Marchi has traced a map of the confused urban thinking in the post-war period – during which the most important discussions seemed centered, rather surprisingly, on Venice, Milan and Amsterdam. While the still unresolved conflict between the city as an organism and the city as an automaton focused much of that crucial discussion which still resonates with twenty-first century concerns. The book will therefore be essential reading for anyone concerned with our cities and their future.”

Joseph Rykwert, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Routledge link:



19/6/2019_Book Presentation: “The Heart of the City,” Politecnico di Milano: Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi, Gaia  Caramellino, Alessandro De Magistris, Tom Avermaete

28/8/2019_Book Presentation: “The Heart of the City,” IUAV, Venice. Leonardo Zuccaro Marchi, Paola Viganò, Tom Avermaete, David Grahame Shane