Radical Cities

Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture
Author: Justin McGuirk
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 178168281X
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 3646

Continue Reading →

What makes the city of the future? How do you heal a divided city? In Radical Cities, Justin McGuirk travels across Latin America in search of the activist architects, maverick politicians and alternative communities already answering these questions. From Brazil to Venezuela, and from Mexico to Argentina, McGuirk discovers the people and ideas shaping the way cities are evolving. Ever since the mid twentieth century, when the dream of modernist utopia went to Latin America to die, the continent has been a testing ground for exciting new conceptions of the city. An architect in Chile has designed a form of social housing where only half of the house is built, allowing the owners to adapt the rest; Medellín, formerly the world’s murder capital, has been transformed with innovative public architecture; squatters in Caracas have taken over the forty-five-story Torre David skyscraper; and Rio is on a mission to incorporate its favelas into the rest of the city. Here, in the most urbanised continent on the planet, extreme cities have bred extreme conditions, from vast housing estates to sprawling slums. But after decades of social and political failure, a new generation has revitalised architecture and urban design in order to address persistent poverty and inequality. Together, these activists, pragmatists and social idealists are performing bold experiments that the rest of the world may learn from. Radical Cities is a colorful journey through Latin America—a crucible of architectural and urban innovation. From the Hardcover edition.

Rebel Cities

From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution
Author: David Harvey
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1844679047
Category: Political Science
Page: 206
View: 5047

Continue Reading →

Long before the Occupy movement, modern cities had already become the central sites of revolutionary politics, where the deeper currents of social and political change rise to the surface. Consequently, cities have been the subject of much utopian thinking. But at the same time they are also the centers of capital accumulation and the frontline for struggles over who controls access to urban resources and who dictates the quality and organization of daily life. Is it the financiers and developers, or the people? Rebel Cities places the city at the heart of both capital and class struggles, looking at locations ranging from Johannesburg to Mumbai, and from New York City to São Paulo. Drawing on the Paris Commune as well as Occupy Wall Street and the London Riots, Harvey asks how cities might be reorganized in more socially just and ecologically sane ways—and how they can become the focus for anti-capitalist resistance.

The Radical and Socialist Tradition in British Planning

From Puritan colonies to garden cities
Author: Duncan Bowie
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317018346
Category: Political Science
Page: 224
View: 4429

Continue Reading →

Focusing on the key period between the late 18th century and 1914, this book provides the first comprehensive narrative account of radical and socialist texts and organised movements for reform to land planning and housing policies in Britain. Beginning with the early colonial settlements in the puritan and enlightenment eras, it also covers Benthamite utilitarian planning, Owenite and utopian communitarianism, the Chartists, late Chartists and the First International, Christian socialists and positivists, working class and radical land reform campaigns in the late 19th century, Garden City pioneers and the institutionalisation of the planning profession. The book, in effect, presents a prehistory of land, planning and housing reform in the UK in contrast with most historiography which focuses on the immediate pre-World War I period. Providing an analysis of different intellectual traditions and contrasting middle class-led reform initiatives with those based on working class organisations, the book seeks to relate historical debates to contemporary themes, including utopianism and pragmatism, the role of the state, the balance between local initiatives and centrally driven reforms and the interdependence of land, housing and planning.

Rethinking the Informal City

Critical Perspectives from Latin America
Author: Felipe Hernández,Peter William Kellett,Lea K. Allen
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 9781845455828
Category: Architecture
Page: 249
View: 7302

Continue Reading →

Latin American cities have always been characterized by a strong tension between what is vaguely described as their formal and informal dimensions. However, despite intrinsic semantic implications, the terms formal and informal do not refer only to the physical aspect of cities but also to their entire socio-political fabric. Given the fact that informal cities and settlements exceed the structures of order, control and homogeneity expected to be found in the formal city, the wide-ranging essays in this volume from disciplinary areas such as anthropology, architecture, history, cultural and urban studies, and sociology are concerned with the need to produce alternative methods of analysis in order to study the phenomenon of urban informality. This book provides a thoroughgoing review of the work that is currently being carried out by scholars, practitioners and governmental institutions, in and outside Latin America, on the question of informal cities.

The Autonomous City

A History of Urban Squatting
Author: Alexander Vasudevan
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1781687870
Category: Political Science
Page: 304
View: 9655

Continue Reading →

A radical history of squatting and the struggle for the right to remake the city The Autonomous City is the first popular history of squatting as practised in Europe and North America. Alex Vasudevan retraces the struggle for housing in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Detroit, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Milan, New York, and Vancouver. He looks at the organisation of alternative forms of housing—from Copenhagen’s Freetown Christiana to the squats of the Lower East Side—as well as the official response, including the recent criminalisation of squatting, the brutal eviction of squatters and their widespread vilification. Pictured as a way to reimagine and reclaim the city, squatting offers an alternative to housing insecurity, oppressive property speculation and the negative effects of urban regeneration. We must, more than ever, reanimate and remake the urban environment as a site of radical social transformation.

The Radicals' City: Urban Environment, Polarisation, Cohesion


Author: Dr Ralf Brand,Dr Sara Fregonese
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409472752
Category: Political Science
Page: 216
View: 5372

Continue Reading →

Bringing together comparative case studies from Belfast, Beirut, Amsterdam and Berlin, this book examines the role of the urban environment in social polarisation processes. In doing so, it provides a timely and refreshingly innovative voice in the confusing babble on (counter-)terrorism, urban conflict and community cohesion. Despite their socio-political differences, these cities are telling cases of how the location and shape of very mundane objects such as rubbish bins, bridges, clothes’ stores, shopping malls and cafés - in addition to the obvious fences, walls and barbed wire - are often subject to heated controversies and influence the way urban conflict is 'lived' and practised. Within a Science and Technology Studies (STS) theoretical framework, the authors provide a systematic analysis of these four cities and provide many concrete and richly illustrated examples of ‘material agency’ without losing sight of their specific historical, political, geographical and social conditions. The STS angle permits some surprising, yet extremely convincing, conclusions which are of use not only for a range of practitioners but also to scholars interested in the social shaping processes and the consequences of urban artefacts. The authors argue that, although architecture and urban design is clearly not the sole cause of conflict and polarisation, neither is it completely innocent. Conversely, it cannot be the silver bullet to solve related problems and to create community cohesion. However, the materiality of our cities must not be ignored; in fact, it can and should be ‘enrolled’ in our efforts. The book contains detailed descriptions of such positive cases as inspiration for practitioners as diverse as policy makers, architects, urban designers, planners, community workers, consultants or police officers.

City of Well-being

A radical guide to planning
Author: Hugh Barton
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315438666
Category: Architecture
Page: 304
View: 1539

Continue Reading →

City of Well-being provides a radical and holistic introduction to the science and art of town planning. It starts from the premise that the purpose of planning is the health, well-being and sustainable quality of life of people. Drawing on current and historic examples it offers inspiration, information and an integrated perspective which challenges all professions and decision-makers that affect the urban environment. It is both authoritative and readable, designed for students, practitioners, politicians and civil society. The science. Summarizing the most recent research, the book demonstrates the interrelationships between the huge issues of obesity, unhealthy lifestyles, inequality, mental illness, climate change and environmental quality. The radical implications for transport, housing, economic, social and energy policies are spelt out. The art and politics. The book examines how economic development really happens, and how spatial decisions reinforce or undermine good intentions. It searches for the creative strategies, urban forms and neighbourhood designs that can marry the ideal with the real. The relationship of planning and politics is tackled head-on, leading to conclusions about the role of planners, communities and development agencies in a pluralistic society. Healthy planning principles could provide a powerful logical motivation for all practitioners.

Spreading the Wealth

How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities
Author: Stanley Kurtz
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101601671
Category: Political Science
Page: 240
View: 526

Continue Reading →

When Barack Obama told “Joe the Plumber” that he wanted to “spread the wealth around,” he wasn’t just using a figure of speech. Since the 2008 campaign, Stanley Kurtz has established himself as one of Barack Obama’s most effective and well-informed critics. He was the first to expose the extent of Obama’s ties to radicals such as Bill Ayers and ACORN. Now Kurtz reveals new evidence that the administration’s talk about helping the middle class is essentially a smoke screen. Behind the scenes, plans are under way for a serious push toward wealth redistribution, with the suburban middle class—not the so-called one percent—bearing the brunt of it. Why haven’t we heard more about policies that will lead to redistribution? In part, of course, because controversies over Obamacare, unemployment, and the exploding budget deficit have taken the media spot­light. But the main reason, according to Kurtz, is that Obama doesn’t want to tip his hand about his second term. He knows that his plans will alienate the moderate swing voters who hold the key to his reelection. Drawing on previously overlooked sources, Kurtz cuts through that smoke screen to reveal what’s really going on. Radicals from outside the administration—including key Obama allies from his early community organizing days—have been quietly influ­encing policy, in areas ranging from edu­cation to stimulus spending. Their goal: to increase the influence of America’s cities over their suburban neighbors so that even­tually suburban independence will vanish. In the eyes of Obama’s former mentors—fol­lowers of leftist radical Saul Alinsky—suburbs are breeding grounds for bigotry and greed. The classic American dream of a suburban house and high quality, locally controlled schools strikes them as selfishness, a waste of resources that should be redirected to the urban poor. The regulatory groundwork laid so far is just a prelude to what’s to come: substantial redistribution of tax dollars. Over time, cities would effectively swallow up their surround­ing municipalities, with merged school dis­tricts and forced redistribution of public spending killing the appeal of the suburbs. The result would be a profound transforma­tion of American society. Kurtz shows the unbroken line of continuity from Obama’s community organizing roots to his presidency. And he reveals why his plan to undermine the suburbs means so much to him personally. Kurtz’s revelations are sure to be hotly dis­puted. But they are essential to helping vot­ers make an informed choice about whether to reward the president with a second term.

Radical Technologies

The Design of Everyday Life
Author: Adam Greenfield
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1784780472
Category: Political Science
Page: 368
View: 9660

Continue Reading →

A field manual to the technologies that are transforming our lives Everywhere we turn, a startling new device promises to transfigure our lives. But at what cost? In this urgent and revelatory excavation of our Information Age, leading technology thinker Adam Greenfield forces us to reconsider our relationship with the networked objects, services and spaces that define us. It is time to re-evaluate the Silicon Valley consensus determining the future. We already depend on the smartphone to navigate every aspect of our existence. We’re told that innovations—from augmented-reality interfaces and virtual assistants to autonomous delivery drones and self-driving cars—will make life easier, more convenient and more productive. 3D printing promises unprecedented control over the form and distribution of matter, while the blockchain stands to revolutionize everything from the recording and exchange of value to the way we organize the mundane realities of the day to day. And, all the while, fiendishly complex algorithms are operating quietly in the background, reshaping the economy, transforming the fundamental terms of our politics and even redefining what it means to be human. Having successfully colonized everyday life, these radical technologies are now conditioning the choices available to us in the years to come. How do they work? What challenges do they present to us, as individuals and societies? Who benefits from their adoption? In answering these questions, Greenfield’s timely guide clarifies the scale and nature of the crisis we now confront —and offers ways to reclaim our stake in the future.

World City


Author: Doreen Massey
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745654827
Category: Science
Page: 272
View: 9420

Continue Reading →

Cities around the world are striving to be 'global'. This book tells the story of one of them, and in so doing raises questions of identity, place and political responsibility that are essential for all cities. World City focuses its account on London, one of the greatest of these global cities. London is a city of delight and of creativity. It also presides over a country increasingly divided between North and South and over a neo-liberal form of globalisation - the deregulation, financialisation and commercialisation of all aspects of life - that is resulting in an evermore unequal world. World City explores how we can understand this complex narrative and asks a question that should be asked of any city: what does this place stand for? Following the implosion within the financial sector, such issues are even more vital. In a new Preface, Doreen Massey addresses these changed times. She argues that, whatever happens, the evidence of this book is that we must not go back to 'business as usual', and she asks whether the financial crisis might open up a space for a deeper rethinking of both our economy and our society.

Radical Possibilities

Public Policy, Urban Education, and A New Social Movement
Author: Jean Anyon
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136202218
Category: Education
Page: 234
View: 5812

Continue Reading →

The core argument of Jean Anyon’s classic Radical Possibilities is deceptively simple: if we do not direct our attention to the ways in which federal and metropolitan policies maintain the poverty that plagues communities in American cities, urban school reform as currently conceived is doomed to fail. With every chapter thoroughly revised and updated, this edition picks up where the 2005 publication left off, including a completely new chapter detailing how three decades of political decisions leading up to the “Great Recession” produced an economic crisis of epic proportions. By tracing the root causes of the financial crisis, Anyon effectively demonstrates the concrete effects of economic decision-making on the education sector, revealing in particular the disastrous impacts of these policies on black and Latino communities. Going beyond lament, Radical Possibilities offers those interested in a better future for the millions of America’s poor families a set of practical and theoretical insights. Expanding on her paradigm for combating educational injustice, Anyon discusses the Occupy Wall Street movement as a recent example of popular resistance in this new edition, set against a larger framework of civil rights history. A ringing call to action, Radical Possibilities reminds readers that throughout U.S. history, equitable public policies have typically been created as a result of the political pressure brought to bear by social movements. Ultimately, Anyon’s revelations teach us that the current moment contains its own very real radical possibilities.

After Sustainable Cities?


Author: Mike Hodson,Simon Marvin
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135114188
Category: Architecture
Page: 146
View: 7040

Continue Reading →

A sustainable city has been defined in many ways. Yet, the most common understanding is a vision of the city that is able to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Central to this vision are two ideas: cities should meet social needs, especially of the poor, and not exceed the ability of the global environment to meet needs. After Sustainable Cities critically reviews what has happened to these priorities and asks whether these social commitments have been abandoned in a period of austerity governance and climate change and replaced by a darker and unfair city. This book provides the first comprehensive and comparative analysis of the new eco-logics reshaping conventional sustainable cities discourse and environmental priorities of cities in both the global north and south. The dominant discourse on sustainable cities, with a commitment to intergenerational equity, social justice and global responsibility, has come under increasing pressure. Under conditions of global ecological change, international financial and economic crisis and austerity governance new eco-logics are entering the urban sustainability lexicon – climate change, green growth, smart growth, resilience and vulnerability, ecological security. This book explores how these new eco-logics reshape our understanding of equity, justice and global responsibility, and how these more technologically and economically driven themes resonate and dissonate with conventional sustainable cities discourse. This book provides a warning that a more technologically driven and narrowly constructed economic agenda is driving ecological policy and weakening previous commitment to social justice and equity. After Sustainable Cities brings together leading researchers to provide a critical examination of these new logics and identity what sort of city is now emerging, as well as consider the longer-term implication on sustainable cities research and policy.

Vertical

The City from Satellites to Bunkers
Author: Stephen Graham
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1781689962
Category: Social Science
Page: 416
View: 7876

Continue Reading →

A revolutionary reimagining of the cities we live in, the air above us, and what goes on in the earth beneath our feet Today we live in a world that can no longer be read as a two-dimensional map, but must now be understood as a series of vertical strata that reach from the satellites that encircle our planet to the tunnels deep within the ground. In Vertical, Stephen Graham rewrites the city at every level: how the geography of inequality, politics, and identity is determined in terms of above and below. Starting at the edge of earth’s atmosphere and, in a series of riveting studies, descending through each layer, Graham explores the world of drones, the city from the viewpoint of an aerial bomber, the design of sidewalks and the hidden depths of underground bunkers. He asks: why was Dubai built to be seen from Google Earth? How do the super-rich in São Paulo live in their penthouses far above the street? Why do London billionaires build vast subterranean basements? And how do the technology of elevators and subversive urban explorers shape life on the surface and subsurface of the earth? Vertical will make you look at the world around you anew: this is a revolution in understanding your place in the world.

Naked City

The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places
Author: Sharon Zukin
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199741891
Category: Social Science
Page: 312
View: 3578

Continue Reading →

As cities have gentrified, educated urbanites have come to prize what they regard as "authentic" urban life: aging buildings, art galleries, small boutiques, upscale food markets, neighborhood old-timers, funky ethnic restaurants, and old, family-owned shops. These signify a place's authenticity, in contrast to the bland standardization of the suburbs and exurbs. But as Sharon Zukin shows in Naked City, the rapid and pervasive demand for authenticity--evident in escalating real estate prices, expensive stores, and closely monitored urban streetscapes--has helped drive out the very people who first lent a neighborhood its authentic aura: immigrants, the working class, and artists. Zukin traces this economic and social evolution in six archetypal New York areas--Williamsburg, Harlem, the East Village, Union Square, Red Hook, and the city's community gardens--and travels to both the city's first IKEA store and the World Trade Center site. She shows that for followers of Jane Jacobs, this transformation is a perversion of what was supposed to happen. Indeed, Naked City is a sobering update of Jacobs' legendary 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Like Jacobs, Zukin looks at what gives neighborhoods a sense of place, but argues that over time, the emphasis on neighborhood distinctiveness has become a tool of economic elites to drive up real estate values and effectively force out the neighborhood "characters" that Jacobs so evocatively idealized.

Introduction to Modernity

Twelve Preludes, September 1959-May 1961
Author: Henri Lefebvre
Publisher: Verso
ISBN: 9781859840566
Category: Philosophy
Page: 402
View: 8166

Continue Reading →

Appearing for the first time in an English translation, Introduction to Modernity is one of Henri Lefebvre's greatest works. Published in 1962, when Lefebvre was beginning his career as a lecturer in sociology at the University of Strasbourg, it established his position in the vanguard of a movement which was to culminate in the events of May 1968. It is a book which supersedes the conventional divisions between academic disciplines. With dazzling skill, Lefebvre moves from philosophy to sociology, from literature to history, to present a profound analysis of the social, political and cultural forces at work in France and the world in the aftermath of Stalin's death—an analysis in which the contours of our own "postmodernity" appear with startling clarity. Lefebvre's lectures have become legendary, and something of his charismatic presence and delivery is captured in this book, which he intended "to be understood in the mind's ear ... and not simply to be read." With its mercurial shifts of tone, now intensely poetic, now conversational, it not only explores modernity, it exemplifies it. Equally experimental in conception is the book's remarkable structure, twelve "preludes" through which a range of recurrent themes are interwoven in free-form counterpoint: irony as a critical tool, utopianism, nature and culture, the Stalinization of Marxism, the alienation of everyday life, the cybernetic society ... What gradually emerges is not only a series of original concepts about humanity and culture, but an extraordinary invocation of the complexity of social contradictions. Yet the fragmented structure of the book is not left to float free. Its shifting and eclectic melodies and leitmotifs have a solid ground basis: the wish to rehabilitate the Marxist dialectic as a method for understanding and transforming the modern world. This program is at the heart of the book, and gives it its underlying coherence, making Introduction to Modernity not only essential reading for all students of European cultural history, but also a key text for Marxism in the post-communist world of the late twentieth century.

Cities of Power

The Urban, The National, The Popular, The Global
Author: Goran Therborn
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1784785474
Category: Philosophy
Page: 416
View: 3471

Continue Reading →

Why are cities centers of power? A sociological analysis of urban politics In this brilliant, very original survey of the politics and meanings of urban landscapes, leading sociologist Göran Therborn offers a tour of the world’s major capital cities, showing how they have been shaped by national, popular, and global forces. Their stories begin with the emergence of various kinds of nation-state, each with its own special capital city problematic. In turn, radical shifts of power have impacted on these cities’ development, in popular urban reforms or movements of protest and resistance; in the rise and fall of fascism and military dictatorships; and the coming and going of Communism. Therborn also analyzes global moments of urban formation, of historical globalized nationalism, as well as the cities of current global image capitalism and their variations of skyscraping, gating, and displays of novelty. Through a global, historical lens, and with a thematic range extending from the mutations of modernist architecture to the contemporary return of urban revolutions, Therborn questions received assumptions about the source, manifestations, and reach of urban power, combining perspectives on politics, sociology, urban planning, architecture, and urban iconography. He argues that, at a time when they seem to be moving apart, there is a strong link between the city and the nation-state, and that the current globalization of cities is largely driven by the global aspirations of politicians as well as those of national and local capital. With its unique systematic overview, from Washington, D.C. and revolutionary Paris to the flamboyant twenty- first-century capital Astana in Kazakhstan, its wealth of urban observations from all the populated continents, and its sharp and multi-faceted analyses, Cities of Power forces us to rethink our urban future, as well as our historically shaped present.

Extreme Cities

The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change
Author: Ashley Dawson
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1784780375
Category: Nature
Page: 384
View: 4144

Continue Reading →

A cutting exploration of how cities drive climate change while being on the frontlines of the coming climate crisis How will climate change affect our lives? Where will its impacts be most deeply felt? Are we doing enough to protect ourselves from the coming chaos? In Extreme Cities, Ashley Dawson argues that cities are ground zero for climate change, contributing the lion’s share of carbon to the atmosphere, while also lying on the frontlines of rising sea levels. Today, the majority of the world’s megacities are located in coastal zones, yet few of them are adequately prepared for the floods that will increasingly menace their shores. Instead, most continue to develop luxury waterfront condos for the elite and industrial facilities for corporations. These not only intensify carbon emissions, but also place coastal residents at greater risk when water levels rise. In Extreme Cities, Dawson offers an alarming portrait of the future of our cities, describing the efforts of Staten Island, New York, and Shishmareff, Alaska residents to relocate; Holland’s models for defending against the seas; and the development of New York City before and after Hurricane Sandy. Our best hope lies not with fortified sea walls, he argues. Rather, it lies with urban movements already fighting to remake our cities in a more just and equitable way. As much a harrowing study as a call to arms Extreme Cities is a necessary read for anyone concerned with the threat of global warming, and of the cities of the world.

For Hunger-proof Cities

Sustainable Urban Food Systems
Author: Mustafa Koc,International Development Research Centre (Canada)
Publisher: IDRC
ISBN: 9780889368828
Category: Cooking
Page: 239
View: 8854

Continue Reading →

For Hunger Proof Cities: Sustainable urban food systems

The Death and Life of Great American Cities


Author: Jane Jacobs
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 052543285X
Category: Social Science
Page: 480
View: 8740

Continue Reading →

Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.

Explore Everything

Place-Hacking the City
Author: Bradley Garrett
Publisher: Verso Books
ISBN: 1781681872
Category: Art
Page: 320
View: 4638

Continue Reading →

Plotting adventures from London, Paris, Eastern Europe, Detroit, Chicago and Las vegas, uncovering the tunnels below the city as well as scaling the highest skyscrapers, Bradley Garrett has evaded urban security in order to experience the city in new ways beyond the conventional boundaries of everyday life. Explore Everything is both an account of his escapades with the London Consolidation Crew as well as an urbanist manifesto on rights to the city and new ways of belonging in and understanding the metropolis. It is a passionate declaration to "explore everything," combining philosophy, politics and adventure.