I wonder how many cities are not perennially on the cusp of chaos of some kind or other. Very few places I've lived wouldn't fit this description for a least some of its residents:
What is a Weimar City? It is a city rich in history and culture, animated by political precariousness and by a recent rupture with the past, vivified by a shocking conflict with mass urbanization and industrialization; a city where sudden liberalization has unleashed the social and political imagination—but where the threat of authoritarian reaction is always in the air.
And in a way, that's what city life has always been about - seen from within and without. City-dwellers and non-city dwellers envy the freedom of cities, but fear their untamable nature. I noticed this idea a lot when I was in the field. I lived in a small city and residents were torn between tradition and the future, on the one hand wanting the city to flourish with creativity, but on the other, aware that this could mean grave risks in giving up the security and predictability of the past. Such a model presumes that there is a single moment of disjuncture, but cities are always changing; always at liminal moments.