Joe Berridge



Dance With The Devil

Joe Berridge, a partner at Urban Strategies, has played a key role in some of the largest and most complex urban regeneration campaigns in the world. He is an accomplished master-planner of city centers, airports, waterfronts, and university campuses, with landmark projects in capitals throughout North America and Europe. A frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail and the Literary Review of Canada, he is an Adjunct Professor in the Program in Planning at the University of Toronto and a Fellow in the Munk School of Public Policy. 

[Joe Berridge] mixes impressions with facts, a lifetime’s worth of knowledge with a constantly fresh eye and pen so that the book is at once a delight and an illumination. It also happens to be an indispensable guide to where our global community is going.

Pico Iyer, essayist and author of The Art of Stillness





Sutherland House 2019

Joe Berridge

Perfect City:

An Urban Fixer's Global Search for Magic in the Modern Metropolis


Joe Berridge travels the world on an audacious quest for the perfect city. He takes us with him on an exhilarating tour, offering an experienced eye, insider knowledge, and an understanding of historical and social context. Yet his gaze is fixed firmly on the future as we meet the city and the people who make it work.

The complexity of city making lacks a precise formula. Whom should we follow: the city-bosses exemplified by Robert Moses, or activist Jane Jacobs, who stood in front of bulldozers in New York and brought his expressway construction to a halt?

Berridge explores the urban landscape with insight and relish. We revel in the irrepressible energy of New York. We watch the explosive rise of Shanghai with amazement, and intensely cerebral Singapore charting its unique path.

We witness the near death of Manchester and Belfast, and meet the extraordinary people who changed those cities’ fate. Berridge is intrigued by London’s continuing success, but worries it may have received a fatal blow from Brexit.

And then there is Toronto, rising seemingly by accident to the top rank of world cities, whose key to success may be its remarkable welcome to newcomers, the critical ingredient for any dynamic city.

Berridge knows these cities from the inside. Through him, we meet inspiring city mayors and managers, and energetic entrepreneurs and activists. These are the people – the politicians and artists, the citizens and businessmen – who have to work together to make the perfect city.

How do you best do that, and what do you do when they have been killing each other? Indeed, what is the chemistry of the perfect city?