Monuments have fascinated human beings and enriched cities throughout different periods and in various forms—as repositories of history and memories, as places to spend time, as meeting points, and as points of orientation. However, as a major component of the discipline of architecture and urban design, the term “monument,” along with ist relationship to the city, is in crisis.
This book explores a rediscovery of the concept of monuments as essential and creative parts of cities. The ideas in Monuments of Everyday Life are outlined by the rereading of four powerful, multifaceted urban locations in São Paulo. It reveals the specific spatial patterns around monuments, which are understood as alternatives to places of instability and the commercialisation and homogenisation of urban space. It discusses the relevance of monuments as reference points for collective life and material representatives of collective values. Monuments of Everyday Life draws conclusions from the past—but more than that, it addresses relevant questions and possibilities concerning urban futures.