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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.
This book paints an intimate portrait of an overlooked kind of city that neither grows nor declines drastically. In fact, New Bedford, Massachusetts represents an entire category of cities that escape mainstream urban studies’ more customary attention to global cities (New York), booming cities (Atlanta), and shrinking cities (Flint). New Bedford-style ordinary cities are none of these, they neither grow nor decline drastically, but in their inconspicuousness, they account for a vast majority of all cities. Given the complexities of growth and decline, both temporarily and spatially, how does a city manage change and physically adapt to growth and decline? This book offers an answer through a detailed analysis of the politics, environment, planning strategies, and history of New Bedford.
Ordinary in Brighton? offers the first large scale examination of the impact of the UK equalities legislation on lesbian, gay, bi- and trans (LGBT) lives, and the effects of these changes on LGBT political activism. Using the participatory research project, Count Me In Too, this book investigates the material issues of social/spatial injustice that were pertinent for some - but not all- LGBT people, and explores activisms working in partnership that operated with/within the state. Ordinary in Brighton? explores the unevenly felt consequences of assimilation and inclusion in a city that was compelled to provide a place (literally and figuratively) for LGBT people. Brighton itself is understood to be exceptional, and exploring this specific location provides insights into how place operates as constitutive of lives and activisms. Despite its placing as ’the gay capital’ and its long history as a favoured location of LGBT people, there is very little academic or popular literature published about this city. This book offers insights into the first decade of the 21st century when sexual and gender dissidents supposedly became ordinary here, rather than exceptional and transgressive. It argues that geographical imaginings of this city as the ’gay capital’ formed activisms that sought positive social change for LGBT people. The possibilities of legislative change and urban inclusivities enabled some LGBT people to live ordinary lives, but this potential existed in tension with normalisations and exclusions. Alongside the necessary critiques, Ordinary in Brighton? asks for conceptualisations of the creative and co-operative possibilities of ordinariness. The book concludes by differentiating the exclusionary ideals of normalisation from the possibilities of ordinariness, which has the potential to render a range of people not only in-place, but commonplace. All royalties from this book will be donated to Allsorts Youth Project, Brighton & Hove LGBT Switchboa
Abstract This introduces a roundtable on the articulations of religious practices and imaginaries with the creation and remaking of urban landscapes in Bangalore (India), Vinh City (Vietnam), and Houston and New Orleans (United States). While recognizing that urban expressions of religion are articulated with political and economic forces, this collection shifts the focus to the spatial, material, and sensory media with which the religious and the spiritual are enacted within urban life worlds. We aim to advance a critical intervention in the analysis of religion and spirituality, but also to map the ways that different publics create designs for and of urban life through religious and spiritual practices that may celebrate, interrogate, or challenge modernist, liberal, or postcolonial/postsocialist programs and geographies.
The Cities of the Global South Reader adopts a fresh and critical approach to the fi eld of urbanization in the developing world. The Reader incorporates both early and emerging debates about the diverse trajectories of urbanization processes in the context of the restructured global alignments in the last three decades. Emphasizing the historical legacies of colonialism, the Reader recognizes the entanglement of conditions and concepts often understood in binary relations: first/third worlds, wealth/poverty, development/underdevelopment, and inclusion/exclusion. By asking: “whose city? whose development?” the Reader rigorously highlights the fractures along lines of class, race, gender, and other socially and spatially constructed hierarchies in global South cities. The Reader’s thematic structure, where editorial introductions accompany selected texts, examines the issues and concerns that urban dwellers, planners, and policy makers face in the contemporary world. These include the urban economy, housing, basic services, infrastructure, the role of non-state civil society-based actors, planned interventions and contestations, the role of diaspora capital, the looming problem of adapting to climate change, and the increasing spectre of violence in a post 9/11 transnational world. The Cities of the Global South Reader pulls together a diverse set of readings from scholars across the world, some of which have been written specially for the volume, to provide an essential resource for a broad interdisciplinary readership at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in urban geography, urban sociology, and urban planning as well as disciplines related to international and development studies. Editorial commentaries that introduce the central issues for each theme summarize the state of the field and outline an associated bibliography. They will be of particular value for lecturers, students, and researchers, making the Cities of the Global South Reader a key text for those interested in understanding contemporary urbanization processes.
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. It will be a valuable resource for academic researchers and students across a range of disciplines including urban and environmental studies.
In a globalizing, knowledge-based economy, innovation and creative capacity lead to economic prosperity. Starting in 2006, the Innovation Systems Research Network began a six year-long study on how city-regions in Canada were surviving and thriving in a globalized world. That study resulted in the “Innovation, Creativity, and Governance in Canadian City-Regions” series, which examines the impact of innovation, talent, and institutions on sixteen city-regions across Canada. This volume explores how the social dynamics that influence innovation and knowledge flows in Canadian city-regions contribute to transformation and long-term growth. With case studies examining cities of all sizes, from Toronto to Moncton, Innovating in Urban Economies analyzes the impact of size, location, and the regional economy on innovation and knowledge in Canada’s cities.

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