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For the first time ever, the classic and contemporary approaches to urban theory have been brought together in an introductory text. From the foundations of Weber and Simmel to the contemporary work of Manuel Castells and the Los Angeles school, Urban Theory and the Urban Experience traces key developments in the idea of the city over more than a century, revealing the often unacknowledged debt that empirical and theoretical perspectives owe each other. Documentary, literary, and cultural sources bring theories to life, while hands-on studies and analysis of alternative ideas, such as "the garden city" and "the new urbanism" round out what is sure to be a key text for years to come.