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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.
Since the mid-1990s, research on global cities has exploded throughout the social sciences. It has now become one of the most exciting, if controversial, approaches to the study of urban life today.
"This is a book about the making of cities and the buildings that compose them. It is about the conditions under which an architect engaged in those activities now works, how those conditions evolved and why they are changing. It is about the qualities of life that are threatened by the ways cities are built at the beginning of the 21st century and intelligent response to those threats. It is about why the city planning ideas and the cultural cuisinart that came in the box with modern architecture are a lingering menace." -- from Global City Blue. In Global City Blues, renowned architect Daniel Solomon presents a perceptive overview and an insightful assessment of how the power and seductiveness of modernist ideals led us astray. Through a series of independent but linked essays, he takes the reader on a personal picaresque, introducing us to people, places, and ideas that have shaped thinking about planning and building and that laid the foundation for his beliefs about the world we live in and the kind of world we should be making. As an alternative, Daniel Solomon discusses the ideas and precepts of New Urbanism, a reform movement he helped found that has risen to prominence in the past decade. New Urbanism offers a vital counterbalance to the forces of sprawl, urban disintegration, and placelessness that have so transformed the contemporary landscape. Global City Blues is a fresh and original look at what the history of urban form can teach us about creating built environments that work for people.
Rejecting simplifying notions of globalisation as a macro-economic force, this book provides a grounded picture of the various ways in which people's biographies are tied up with the global cultural economy. The main argument of the book is that the globalisation of lives is experienced by people as the 'extension' of their 'milieux' both spatially and symbolically.
Global Cities examines the distinctive commercial, residential, and spatial features of the major cities of the contemporary world--cities housing the financial and cultural activities that are most consequential for everyone, regardless of where they live. The development of these influential cities is intimately related to the emergence of modern telecommunications, the growth of multinational corporations, the internationalization of economic activity, and the increased movement of cultural symbols and artifacts across national lines. Accessible to readers with little background in sociology or social science, Global Cities analyzes numerous contemporary issues to illustrate concepts and processes pertaining to the most significant global cities. These concrete examples facilitate students' general understanding and show them the contemporary relevance of the material. The book offers a detailed and multifaceted picture of such leading urban centers as London, New York, Tokyo, and Paris, but also branches out to other important cities in the world. It analyzes both the internal features of the cities and the nature of their connections with each other. Global Cities is ideal for undergraduate courses in urban sociology and other social sciences.
In 1962, the Commonwealth Immigrants Act hastened the process of South Asian migration to postcolonial Britain. Half a decade later, now is an opportune moment to revisit the accumulated writing about the diasporas formed through subsequent settlement, and to probe the ways in which the South Asian diaspora can be re-conceptualised. Writing the City in British Asian Diasporas takes a fresh look at such matters and will have multi-disciplinary resonance worldwide. The meaning and importance of local, multi-local and trans-local dynamics is explored through a devolved and regionally-accented comparison of five British Asian cities: Bradford, the East End of London, Manchester, Leicester and Birmingham. Analysing the ‘writing’ of these differently configured cities since the 1960s, its main focus is the significant discrepancies in representation between differently-positioned texts reflecting both dominant institutional discourses and everyday lived experiences of a locality. Part I offers a comprehensive, yet still highly contested, reading of each city’s archives. Part II examines how the arts and humanities fields of History, Religion, Gender and Literary/Cultural Studies have all written British Asian diasporas, and how their perspectives might complement the better-established agendas of the social sciences. Providing an innovative analysis of South Asian communities and their multi-local identities in Britain today, this interdisciplinary book will be of interest to scholars of South Asian Studies, Migration, Ethnic and Diaspora Studies, as well as Sociology, Anthropology, and Geography.

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