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In the modernist city rationality ruled and subsumed difference in a logic of identity. In the postmodern city, reason is abandoned for an endless play of difference. Reason in the City of Difference poses an alternative to these extremes by drawing on classical American philosophical pragmatism (and its contemporary developments in feminism and the philosophy of communication) to explore the possibilities of a strengthening and deepening of reason in the contemporary city. This is a transactional rationality based on communication, rather than cognition, involving bodies as much as minds, and non-discursive, as well as discursive competences. It is a rationality that emerges out of difference and from within the city, rather than over and above it. Using pragmatist philosophy and a range of suggestive examples of urban scholarship, this fascinating book offers a new, alternative reading of the city.
The modern metropolis has been called 'the symbol of our times', and life in it epitomizes, for many, modernity itself. But what to make of inherited ideas of modernity when faced with life in Mexico City and São Paulo, two of the largest metropolises in the world? Is their fractured reality, their brutal social contrasts, and the ever-escalating violence faced by their citizens just an intensification of what Engels described in the first in-depth analysis of an industrial metropolis, nineteenth century Manchester? Or have post-industrial and neo-globalized economies given rise to new forms of urban existence in the so-called developing world? Life in the Megalopolis: Mexico City and São Paulo investigates how such questions are explored in cultural productions from these two Latin American megalopolises, the focus being on literature, film popular music, and visual arts. This book combines close readings of works with a constant reference to theoretical, anthropological and social studies of these two cities, and builds on received definitions of the concept megalopolis Life in the Megalopolis is the first book to combine urban-studies theories (particularly Lefebvre, Harvey, and de Certeau) with Benjaminian cultural analyses, and theoretical discussions with close-readings of recent cultural works in various media. It is also the first book to compare Mexico City and São Paulo.
Cities, Nationalism, and Democratization provides a theoretically informed, practice-oriented account of intercultural conflict and co-existence in cities. Bollens uses a wide-ranging set of over 100 interviews with local political and community leaders to investigate how popular urban policies can trigger 'pushes from below' that help nation-states address social and political challenges. The book brings the city and the urban scale into contemporary debates about democratic transformations in ethnically diverse countries. It connects the city, on conceptual and pragmatic levels, to two leading issues of today – the existence of competing and potentially destructive nationalistic allegiances and the limitations of democracy in multinational societies. Bollens finds that cities and urbanists are not necessarily hemmed in by ethnic conflict and political gridlock, but can be proactive agents that stimulate the progress of societal normalization. The fuller potential of cities is in their ability to catalyze multinational democratization. Alternately, if cities are left unprotected and unmanaged, ethnic antagonists can fragment the city’s collective interests in ways that slow down and confine the advancement of sustainable democracy. This book will be helpful to scholars, international organizations, and grassroots organizations in understanding why and how the peace-constitutive city emerges in some cases while it is misplaced and neglected in others.
Cities are many things. Among their least appealing aspects, cities are frequently characterized by concentrations of insecurity and exploitation. Cities have also long represented promises of opportunity and liberation. Public decision-making in contemporary cities is full of conflict, and principles of justice are rarely the explicit basis for the resolution of disputes. If today’s cities are full of injustices and unrealized promises, how would a Just City function? Is a Just City merely a utopia, or does it have practical relevance? This book engages with the growing debate around these questions. The notion of the Just City emerges from philosophical discussions about what justice is combined with the intellectual history of utopias and ideal cities. The contributors to this volume, including Susan Fainstein, David Harvey and Margit Mayer articulate a conception of the Just City and then examine it from differing angles, ranging from Marxist thought to communicative theory. The arguments both develop the concept of a Just City and question it, as well as suggesting alternatives for future expansion. Explorations of the concept in practice include case studies primarily from U.S. cities, but also from Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. The authors find that a forthright call for justice in all aspects of city life, putting the question of what a Just City should be on the agenda of urban reform, can be a practical approach to solving questions of urban policy. This synthesis is provocative in a globalised world and the contributing authors bridge the gap between theoretical conceptualizations of urban justice and the reality of planning and building cities. The notion of the Just City is an empowering framework for contemporary urban actors to improve the quality of urban life and Searching for the Just City is a seminal read for practitioners, professionals, students, researchers and anyone interested in what urban futures should aim to achieve.
Despite traditionally being a strong research topic in urban studies, inter-city relations had become grossly neglected until recently, when it was placed back on the research agenda with the advent of studies of world/global cities. More recently the ‘external relations’ of cities have taken their place alongside ‘internal relations’ within cities to constitute the full nature of cities. This collection of essays on how and why cities are connecting to each other in a globalizing world provides evidence for a new city-centered geography that is emerging in the twenty-first century. Cities in Globalization covers four key themes beginning with the different ways of measuring a ‘world city network’, ranging from analyses of corporate structures to airline passenger flows. Second is the recent European advances in studying ‘urban systems’ which are compared to the Anglo-American city networks approach. These chapters add conceptual vigour to traditional themes and provide findings on European cities in globalization. Thirdly the political implications of these new geographies of flows are considered in a variety of contexts: the localism of city planning, specialist ‘political world cities’, and the ‘war on terror’. Finally, there are a series of chapters that critically review the state of our knowledge on contemporary relations between cities in globalization. Cities in Globalization provides an up-to-date assembly of leading American and European researchers reporting their ideas on the critical issue of how cities are faring in contemporary globalization and is highly illustrated throughout with over forty figures and tables.
What connects garbage dumps in New York, bomb sites in Baghdad, and skyscrapers in São Paulo? How is contemporary visual culture – extending from art and architecture to film and digital media – responding to new forms of violence associated with global and globalizing cities? Addressing such questions, this book is the first interdisciplinary volume to examine the complex relationship between globalization, violence, and the visual culture of cities. Violence – in both material and cultural forms – has been a prominent and endemic feature of urban life in the global metropolitan era. Focusing on visual culture and offering a strong humanities perspective that is currently lacking in existing scholarship, this book seeks to understand how the violent effects of globalization have been represented, theorized, and experienced across a wide range of cultural contexts and urban locations in Asia, Europe, North and South America, and the Middle East. Organized around three interrelated themes – fear, memory, and spectacle – essay topics range from military targeting in Baghdad, carceral urbanism in São Paulo, and the Paris banlieue riots, to the security aesthetics of G8 summits, the architecture of urban paranoia, and the cultural afterlife of the Twin Towers. Globalization, Violence, and the Visual Culture of Cities offers fresh insight into the problems and potential of cities around the world, including Beijing, Berlin, London, New York, Paris, and São Paulo. With specially-commissioned essays from the fields of cultural theory, architecture, film, photography, and urban geography, this innovative volume will be a valuable resource for students, scholars, and researchers across the humanities and social sciences.
Until now, much research in the field of urban planning and change has focused on the economic, political, social, cultural and spatial transformations of global cities and larger metropolitan areas. In this topical new volume, David Bell and Mark Jayne redress this balance, focusing on urban change within small cities around the world. Drawing together research from a strong international team of contributors, this four part book is the first systematic overview of small cities. A comprehensive and integrated primer with coverage of all key topics, it takes a multi-disciplinary approach to an important contemporary urban phenomenon. The book addresses: political and economic decision making urban economic development and competitive advantage cultural infrastructure and planning in the regeneration of small cities identities, lifestyles and ways in which different groups interact in small cities. Centering on urban change as opposed to pure ethnographic description, the book’s focus on informed empirical research raises many important issues. Its blend of conceptual chapters and theoretically directed case studies provides an excellent resource for a broad spectrum of undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as providing a rich resource for academics and researchers.

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