Becoming Urban

City of Nomads


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SpecificationsISBN: 978-1-954081-06-2 Binding: Soft Bound Size: 7.48” x 9.96” Portrait Pages: 128pp Publication Date: Fall 2021 World Rights: Available

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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 materialized and organized spatially, and by whom, will have profound ramifications on the climate and the social and economic make-up of our future cities.

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).




Soft Bound


7.48” x 9.96” Portrait



Publication date

Fall 2021

World rights