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Thinking Allowed - City living & modern death

Updated Wednesday, 18th May 2011

Laurie Taylor and guests consider the forces shaping life in the city - and why the body is hidden presence at modern funerals.

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Cites are growing at an enormous rate all over the world. As they wrestle with overcrowding, pollution, resource vulnerability and an increasing gulf between the rich and poor what will be the dominant factor which defines them?

Atlanta at Night Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Nrbelex under CC-BY-SA licence

What the forces shape the experience of urban life for the individual and will our imagination and creativity enable cities survive into the future? The sociologist Sophie Watson and the geographer Matthew Gandy join Laurie Taylor to discuss the future of the city.

Also, the taboo of the body in the cemetery. Kate Woodthorpe reveals her research into what remains unmentionable at the graveside.

This edition of Thinking Allowed is a co-production between the BBC and The Open University. You can hear it on BBC Radio 4 at 4pm on Wednesday 18th May, 2011 and again at a quarter past midnight on Monday morning, 23rd May. Further broadcast details, podcast and listen again links are at

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