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Since the late eighteenth century, academic engagement with political, economic, social, cultural and spatial changes in our cities has been dominated by theoretical frameworks crafted with reference to just a small number of cities. This book offers an important antidote to the continuing focus of urban studies on cities in ‘the Global North’. Urban Theory Beyond the West contains twenty chapters from leading scholars, raising important theoretical issues about cities throughout the world. Past and current conceptual developments are reviewed and organized into four parts: ‘De-centring the City’ offers critical perspectives on re-imagining urban theoretical debates through consideration of the diversity and heterogeneity of city life; ‘Order/Disorder’ focuses on the political, physical and everyday ways in which cities are regulated and used in ways that confound this ordering; ‘Mobilities’ explores the movements of people, ideas and policy in cities and between them and ‘Imaginaries’ investigates how urbanity is differently perceived and experienced. There are three kinds of chapters published in this volume: theories generated about urbanity ‘beyond the West’; critiques, reworking or refining of ‘Western’ urban theory based upon conceptual reflection about cities from around the world and hybrid approaches that develop both of these perspectives. Urban Theory Beyond the West offers a critical and accessible review of theoretical developments, providing an original and groundbreaking contribution to urban theory. It is essential reading for students and practitioners interested in urban studies, development studies and geography.
Global Cities and Urban Theory provides an innovative set of approaches to understanding some of the world's major cities, working with concepts such as smart cities, volumetric urbanism, and critical accounting to illustrate the everyday agents and practices that place cities in the world. Donald McNeill draws on detailed discussions of major cities such as London, San Francisco, Paris and Singapore to provide a deep understanding of how urban theory can be grounded in the cultural economies of urban development. The book: Reviews the insights of key thinkers such as Bruno Latour, Mike Davis, and Jane M. Jacobs in relation to specific cities. Highlights methodological and epistemological notes on each theme. Provides case studies of nine key global cities, examined in the context of specific material and spatial practices. Essential reading for upper level students and researchers across urban studies, urban geography, urban sociology and urban policy.
This book analyzes in detail the main social, economic and special transformation of the city of São Paulo. In the last 30 years, São Paulo has become a more heterogeneous and less unequal city. Contrary to some expectations, the recent economic transformations did not produce social polarization, and the localized processes of spaces production (and the plural is increasingly important) are more and more key to define their respective growth patterns, social conditions, forms of housing production, service availability and urban precariousness. In other dimensions, however, inequalities remain present and strong and certain disadvantaged areas have changed little and are still marked by strong social inequalities. The metropolis remains heavily segregated in terms of race and class, in a clear hierarchical structure. The book shows that it is necessary to escape from dual and polarity interpretations. This did not lead to the complete disappearance of a crudely radial and concentric structure (not only due to geographic path dependence), but superposes other elements over it, leading to more complexes and continuous patterns. A general summary of these elements could perhaps be stated as pointing to greater social/spatial heterogeneity, accompanied by smaller, but reconfigured inequalities.
Over the last three decades, our understanding of the city worldwide has been revolutionized by three innovative theoretical concepts – globalisation, postcolonialism and a radically contested notion of modernity. The idea and even the reality of the city has been extended out of the state and nation and re-positioned in the larger global world. In this book Anthony King brings together key essays written over this period, much of it dominated by debates about the world or global city. Challenging assumptions and silences behind these debates, King provides largely ignored historical and cultural dimensions to the understanding of world city formation as well as decline. Interdisciplinary and comparative, the essays address new ways of framing contemporary themes: the imperial and colonial origin of contemporary world and global cities, actually existing postcolonialisms, claims about urban and cultural homogenisation and the role of architecture and built environment in that process. Also addressed are arguments about indigenous and exogenous perspectives, Eurocentricism, ways of framing vernacular architecture, and the global historical sociology of building types. Wide-ranging and accessible, Writing the Global City provides essential historical contexts and theoretical frameworks for understanding contemporary urban and architectural debates. Extensive bibliographies will make it essential for teaching, reference and research.
This book demonstrates how agriculture can play a determining role in integrated, climate-optimised urban development. Agriculture within urban growth centres today is more than an economic or social left-over or a niche practice. It is instead a complex system that offers multiple potentials for interaction with the urban system. Urban open space and agriculture can be linked to a productive green infrastructure – this forms new urban-rural linkages in the urbanizing region and helps shape the city. But in order to do this, agriculture has to be seen as an integral part of the urban fabric and it has to be put on the local agenda. Urban Agriculture for Growing City Regions takes the example of Casablanca, one of the fastest growing cities in North Africa, to investigate this approach. The creation of synergies between the urban and rural in an emerging megacity is demonstrated through pilot projects, design solutions, and multifunctional modules. These synergies assure greater resource efficiency; particularly regarding the use and reuse of water, and they strengthen regional food security and the social integration of multiple spheres. A transdisciplinary research approach brings together different scientific disciplines and local actors into a process of integrated knowledge production. The book will have a long lasting legacy and is essential reading for researchers, planners, practitioners and policy makers who are working on urban development and urban agricultural strategies.
In the Americas, debates around issues of citizen's public safety--from debates that erupt after highly publicized events, such as the shootings of Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, to those that recurrently dominate the airwaves in Latin America--are dominated by members of the middle and upper-middle classes. However, a cursory count of the victims of urban violence in the Americas reveals that the people suffering the most from violence live, and die, at the lowest of the socio-symbolic order, at the margins of urban societies. The inhabitants of the urban margins are hardly ever heard in discussions about public safety. They live in danger but the discourse about violence and risk belongs to, is manufactured and manipulated by, others--others who are prone to view violence at the urban margins as evidence of a cultural, or racial, defect, rather than question violence's relationship to economic and political marginalization. As a result, the experience of interpersonal violence among the urban poor becomes something unspeakable, and the everyday fear and trauma lived in relegated territories is constantly muted and denied. This edited volume seeks to counteract this pernicious tendency by putting under the ethnographic microscope--and making public--the way in which violence is lived and acted upon in the urban peripheries. It features cutting-edge ethnographic research on the role of violence in the lives of the urban poor in South, Central, and North America, and sheds light on the suffering that violence produces and perpetuates, as well as the individual and collective responses that violence generates, among those living at the urban margins of the Americas.
The renaissance in urban theory draws directly from a fresh focus on the neglected realities of cities beyond the west and embraces the global south as the epicentre of urbanism. This Handbook engages the complex ways in which cities of the global south and the global north are rapidly shifting, the imperative for multiple genealogies of knowledge production, as well as a diversity of empirical entry points to understand contemporary urban dynamics. The Handbook works towards a geographical realignment in urban studies, bringing into conversation a wide array of cities across the global south – the ‘ordinary’, ‘mega’, ‘global’ and ‘peripheral’. With interdisciplinary contributions from a range of leading international experts, it profiles an emergent and geographically diverse body of work. The contributions draw on conflicting and divergent debates to open up discussion on the meaning of the city in, or of, the global south; arguments that are fluid and increasingly contested geographically and conceptually. It reflects on critical urbanism, the macro- and micro-scale forces that shape cities, including ideological, demographic and technological shifts, and constantly changing global and regional economic dynamics. Working with southern reference points, the chapters present themes in urban politics, identity and environment in ways that (re)frame our thinking about cities. The Handbook engages the twenty-first-century city through a ‘southern urban’ lens to stimulate scholarly, professional and activist engagements with the city.

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