The basic premise of Making Prestigious Places — that the pursuit of luxury transforms our cities — is timely given recent revisions to “creative city” literature forwarded by Richard Florida. The urban renaissance of recent decades is in crisis: gentrification fueled by a creative class of professionals also increased inequality and segregation, and luxury is partially responsible. Change might begin with new galleries and artisanal cafés, but expensive restaurants and upscale services soon follow, which then attract the usual set of global luxury retailers and high-end real estate developments. None of this is new, but thinking about urban planning through “luxury-driven transformations” with both critical and technical expertise is the nuanced approach of collection editor Mario Paris, an architect, PhD, and contract professor in urban planning at Politecnico di Milano, along with contributor Li Fang, an architect–urban planner and researcher who specializes in luxury....

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