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With the urbanization of the world's population proceeding apace and the equally rapid urbanization of poverty, urban theory has an urgent challenge to meet if it is to remain relevant to the majority of cities and their populations, many of which are outside the West. This groundbreaking book establishes a new framework for urban development. It makes the argument that all cities are best understood as 'ordinary', and crosses the longstanding divide in urban scholarship and urban policy between Western and other cities (especially those labelled 'Third World'). It considers the two framing axes of urban modernity and development, and argues that if cities are to be imagined in equitable and creative ways, urban theory must overcome these axes with their Western bias and that resources must become at least as cosmopolitan as cities themselves. Tracking paths across previously separate literatures and debates, this innovative book - a postcolonial critique of urban studies - traces the outlines of a cosmopolitan approach to cities, drawing on evidence from Rio, Johannesburg, Lusaka and Kuala Lumpur. Key urban scholars and debates, from Simmel, Benjamin and the Chicago School to Global and World Cities theories are explored, together with anthropological and developmentalist accounts of poorer cities. Offering an alternative approach, Ordinary Cities skilfully brings together theories of urban development for students and researchers of urban studies, geography and development.
"With the urbanization of the world's population proceeding apace and the equally rapid urbanization of poverty, urban theory has an urgent challenge to meet if it is to remain relevant to the majority of cities and their populations most of which are outside the West. Ordinary Cities establishes a new framework for thinking about urban development across a longstanding divide in urban scholarship and also in the realm of urban policy, between Western and other kinds of cities, especially those labeled third world. The book will consider the two framing axes of urban modernity and urban development which have been important in dividing the field of urban studies between Western and other cities. Tracking paths across previously separate academic literatures and policy debates, the book attempts to trace the outlines of a cosmopolitan approach to cities. It draws on evidence from Rio, Johannesburg, Lusaka and Kuala Lumpur to ground the theoretical arguments and provide examples of policy approaches and urban development interventions. Ordinary Cities argues that if cities are to be imagined in equitable and creative ways, urban theory must overcome these axes of theorization with their Western bias. The resources for theorizing cities need to become at least as cosmopolitan as cities themselves, drawing inspiration from the diverse range of contexts and histories that shape cities everywhere." -- Back cover.
"With the urbanization of the world's population proceeding apace and the equally rapid urbanization of poverty, urban theory has an urgent challenge to meet if it is to remain relevant to the majority of cities and their populations most of which are outside the West. Ordinary Cities establishes a new framework for thinking about urban development across a longstanding divide in urban scholarship and also in the realm of urban policy, between Western and other kinds of cities, especially those labeled third world. The book will consider the two framing axes of urban modernity and urban development which have been important in dividing the field of urban studies between Western and other cities. Tracking paths across previously separate academic literatures and policy debates, the book attempts to trace the outlines of a cosmopolitan approach to cities. It draws on evidence from Rio, Johannesburg, Lusaka and Kuala Lumpur to ground the theoretical arguments and provide examples of policy approaches and urban development interventions. Ordinary Cities argues that if cities are to be imagined in equitable and creative ways, urban theory must overcome these axes of theorization with their Western bias. The resources for theorizing cities need to become at least as cosmopolitan as cities themselves, drawing inspiration from the diverse range of contexts and histories that shape cities everywhere." -- Back cover.
With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, ‘fairness’ and ‘justice’ within the city are key concepts in contemporary political debate. This book examines the theory and practice of justice in and of the city through a multi-disciplinary collaboration, which draws on a wide range of expertise. By bringing diverse disciplinary and theoretical perspectives into conversation with each other to explore the (in) justices in urban environment, education, mobility and participation the book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of justice and fairness in and of the city. It will be a valuable resource for academic researchers and students across a range of disciplines including urban and environmental studies, geography, planning, education, ethics and politics.
How can we learn from a multicultural society if we don’t know how to recognise it? The contemporary city is more than ever a space for the intense convergence of diverse individuals who shift in and out of its urban terrains. The city street is perhaps the most prosaic of the city’s public parts, allowing us a view of the very ordinary practices of life and livelihoods. By attending to the expressions of conviviality and contestation, ‘City, Street and Citizen’ offers an alternative notion of ‘multiculturalism’ away from the ideological frame of nation, and away from the moral imperative of community. This book offers to the reader an account of the lived realities of allegiance, participation and belonging from the base of a multi-ethnic street in south London. ‘City, Street and Citizen’ focuses on the question of whether local life is significant for how individuals develop skills to live with urban change and cultural and ethnic diversity. To animate this question, Hall has turned to a city street and its dimensions of regularity and propinquity to explore interactions in the small shop spaces along the Walworth Road. The city street constitutes exchange, and as such it provides us with a useful space to consider the broader social and political significance of contact in the day-to-day life of multicultural cities. Grounded in an ethnographic approach, this book will be of interest to academics and students in the fields of sociology, global urbanisation, migration and ethnicity as well as being relevant to politicians, policy makers, urban designers and architects involved in cultural diversity, public space and street based economies.
This edited volume is a lively and timely appraisal of “ordinary cities” as they struggle to implement creative redevelopment and economic growth strategies to enhance their global competitiveness. The book is concerned with new and often unanticipated inequalities that have emerged from this new city movement. As chronicled, such cities – Cleveland (USA), Heidelberg (Germany), Oxford (UK), Groningen (Netherlands), Montpellier (France), but also cities from the Global South such as Cachoeira (Brazil) and Delhi (India) – now experience new and unexpected realities of poverty, segregation, neglect of the poor, racial and ethnic strife. To date planners, academics, and policy analysts have paid little attention to the connections between this drive in these cities to be more creative and the inequalities that have followed. This book, keenly making these connections, highlights the limited visions that have been applied in this planning drive to make these cities more creative and ultimately more globally competitive.
During the 1990s, Naples' left-wing administration sought to tackle the city's infamous reputation of being poor, crime-ridden, chaotic and dirty by reclaiming the city's cultural and architectural heritage. This book examines the conflicts surrounding the reimaging and reordering of the city's historic centre through detailed case studies of two piazzas and a centro sociale, focusing on a series of issues that include heritage, decorum, security, pedestrianization, tourism, immigration and new forms of urban protest. This monograph is the first in-depth study of the complex transformations of one of Europe's most fascinating and misunderstood cities. It represents a new critical approach to the questions of public space, citizenship and urban regeneration as well as a broader methodological critique of how we write about contemporary cities.

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