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Postmodern stage in city development?

            Anthony Giddens defines postmodernism as "the belief that society is no longer governed by history or progress."" He sees postmodern society as "highly pluralistic with no grand narrative' guiding its development-(Giddens, 2001). But it is also important to look at postmodernity' in relation to modernity', to see it as the direct result of the latter, as a reaction to the industrial, functional qualities of the modern movement (James-Chakraborty, 2001). From a sociological view-point the two movements can be seen as follows: the modern' movement taking into account the changes brought about by the Industrial Revolution, and the "postmodern' movement, the changes brought upon us by the Information Revolution (Macionis, Plummer, 1998). But, to what extent can it really be said that cities have recently entered a postmodern' stage in their development? To answer this question one must first grasp what the modern' and postmodern' movements entail, particularly in relation to cities, in their physical form and urban life in general.
             The period of modernisation fundamentally began with the Industrial Revolution and the huge economic growth that ensued. Peter Berger has clearly expressed four major characteristics of the modern age (Macionis, Plummer, 1998). The first, perhaps the most important or indeed obvious, is the gradual decline of the traditional community, what Toennies saw as the passing from the Gemeinshaft; the traditional close-nit community where social solidarity is ever present and conformity is ensured by strict, often spiritual, moral values, to the Gesellschaft; the society of city life, characterised by large urban communities where the sense of community is diminished to a great extent and the individual is often left with a sense of alienation. And yet, it puts people "in touch with the pulse of the larger society and even the entire world-. Berger goes on to note that modernisation allows the individual a greater scope of choice as traditional values erode in the face of individualisation.

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