Escape is an enticing idea in contemporary cities across the world. Austerity, climate breakdown and spatial stigma have led to retreatist behaviours such as gated communities, enclave urbanism and white flight. By contrast, urban community growing projects are often considered by practitioners and commentators as communal havens in a stressful cityscape.
Drawing on ethnographic research in urban growing projects in Glasgow, this book explores the spatial politics and dynamics of community, asking who benefits from such projects and how they relate to the wider city. A timely consideration of localism and community empowerment, the book sheds light on key issues of urban land use, the right to the city and the value of social connection.
A buoyant, creative economy can be seen as the saviour of many cities, but behind such ‘urban makeovers’ lie serious problems such as widening inequalities, job precarity, gentrification and environmental issues. In light of the pandemic and climate crisis, how well are city economies, based largely on culture, nightlife and tourism, meeting basic societal needs?
Blending lively case studies of alternative cultural practices and spaces with broader theoretical debates, this book explores the opportunities for a more just and sustainable urban future.
The past three decades have seen an international ‘turn to participation’ – letting those who will be affected by neighbourhood planning outcomes play an active role in decision-making – but there is widespread dissatisfaction with actual instances of citizen-state engagement.
This innovative analysis brings theory, research and practice together and gives insights into how and why citizen voices either become effective or get excluded. Using ethnographic data to illustrate a wide range of participatory and localist governance practices and social movements, the book concludes with recommendations to re-invigorate community involvement in planning.
The past 30 years have seen the weakening of the central state by processes of devolution, Europeanisation and globalisation, which have led to dramatic clashes between nation states and local authorities. Why do some cities feel the need to sidestep the state in their decision-making? And how can they do so?
Bridging political geography and politics, this book gives a new perspective on the central state’s weakening authority and the parallel rise of cities as political actors. The author considers the tensions between central states and European cities, giving a new perspective to students and researchers in urban studies, geography and political science.
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Focusing on material and social forms of infrastructure, this edited collection draws on rich empirical details from cities across the global North and South. The book asks the reader to think through the different ways in which infrastructure comes to be present in cities and its co-constitutive relationships with urban inhabitants and wider processes of urbanization.
Considering the climate emergency, economic transformation, public health crises and racialized inequality, the book argues that paying attention to infrastructures’ past, present and future allows us to understand and respond to the current urban condition.
Often portrayed as an apolitical space, this book demonstrates that home is in fact a highly political concept, with a range of groups in society excluded from a ‘right to home’ under current UK policies.
Drawing on resident interviews and analysis of political and media attitudes across three case studies – the criminalisation of squatting, the bedroom tax, and family homelessness – it explores the ways in which legislative and policy changes dismantle people’s rights to secure, decent and affordable housing by framing them as undeserving. The book includes practical lessons for housing academics, activists and policymakers.
In the context of widespread precarity and ongoing crises, it is no surprise ruins have captured much attention in recent years. This book is about a new kind of space, one that is deeply troubling for consumer society: the retail ruin.
Jacob C. Miller bridges human geography, archaeology and critical urban studies to offer a starting point for conceptualizing retail ruins. Drawing on fieldnotes and photographs, Miller crafts a hauntological approach informed by the theories of Walter Benjamin and Jacques Derrida to more recent thinking on assemblage, spectacle and the politics of urban space.
Telling the stories of young refugees in a range of international urban settings, this book explores how newcomers navigate urban spaces and negotiate multiple injustices in their everyday lives.
This innovative edited volume is based on in-depth, qualitative research with young refugees and their perspectives on migration, social relations, and cultural spaces. The chapters give voice to refugee youth from a wide variety of social backgrounds, including insights about their migration experiences, their negotiations of spatial justice and injustice, and the diverse ways in which they use urban space.
Poverty is perceived as an urban problem, yet many in rural Britain also experience hardship. This book explores how and why people in rural areas experience and negotiate poverty and social exclusion. It examines the role of societal processes, individual circumstances, sources of support (markets; state; voluntary organisations; family and friends) and the role of place.
It concludes that the UK’s welfare system is poorly adapted to rural areas, with the COVID-19 pandemic, Brexit and cutbacks exacerbating pressures. Voluntary organisations increasingly fill gaps in support left by the state. Invaluable to those in policy and practice, the book recommends a combination of person-based and place-based approaches to tackle rural poverty.
The ‘smart city’ is often promoted as a technology-driven solution to complex urban issues. While commentators are increasingly critical of techno-optimistic narratives, the political imagination is dominated by claims that technical solutions can be uniformly applied to intractable problems.
This book provides a much-needed alternative view, exploring how ‘home-grown’ digital disruption, driven and initiated by local actors, upends the mainstream corporate narrative.
Drawing on original research conducted in a range of urban African settings, Odendaal shows how these initiatives can lead to meaningful change.
This is a valuable resource for scholars working in the intersection of science and technology studies, urban and economic geography and sociology.