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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.
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.
"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.
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.
Urban Theory: New Critical Perspectives provides an introduction to innovative critical contributions to the field of urban studies. Chapters offer easily accessible and digestible reviews, and as a reference text Urban Theory is a comprehensive and integrated primer which covers topics necessary for a full understanding of recent theoretical engagements with cities. The introduction outlines the development of urban theory over the past two hundred years and discusses significant theoretical, methodological and empirical challenges facing the field of urban studies in the context of an increasing globally inter-connected world. The chapters explore twenty-four topics, which are new additions to the urban theoretical debate, highlighting their relationship to long established concerns that continue to have intellectual purchase, and which also engage with rich new and emerging avenues for debate. Each chapter considers the genealogy of the topic at hand and also includes case studies which explain key terms or provide empirical examples to guide the reader to a better understanding of how theory adds to our understanding of the complexities of urban life. This book offers a critical and assessable introduction to original and groundbreaking urban theory and will be essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students in human geography, sociology, anthropology, cultural studies, economics, planning, political science and urban studies.

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