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  • Author or Editor: Mike Hodson x
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The chapter argues for a different kind of planning with citizen participation and different socio-economic priorities. Drawing on the example of the Greater Manchester city region, the authors outline the limits of developer led regeneration, which has encouraged rapid expansion of buy to let and other properties mainly for younger people in the centre, with almost no provision for low income households. The chapter proposes a refocus on rethinking planning as civic future, emphasising collective provision of foundational infrastructures and a different configuration of actors including citizen participation. The chapter starts with a comparison of UK post-1945 town hall planning and more recent developer led regeneration, based on 12 socio-economic drivers. These two periods are then examined, drawing some lessons from Vienna and Bologna. On this basis, we sketch a possible civic future for Manchester recognising that it is politically difficulty to break with development led regeneration.

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The Politics of Remaking Cities

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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.

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Infrastructuring urban futures is a dynamic process involving complex relationships that are simultaneously reorganized and reconfigured through infrastructure. Understanding cities through their infrastructure offers a way of conceptualizing the common systems, networks, and flows that reproduce the diversity of historical legacies and contemporary realities facing cities across the Global South and Global North. This Introduction first presents a critical review of scholarly literature on urban infrastructure, then discusses the overarching themes that cut across the book, making three key points. First, that a grounded, material, and geographic analysis is necessary for infrastructure research. Second, that infrastructure always operates within the uneven and contradictory logics of contemporary capitalist accumulation. Third, infrastructure’s capacity to provide for some people, certain goods, and particular flows of information, while at the same time disenfranchising and/or disconnecting other residents and other elements of the urban condition, are a matter of everyday urban politics. Articulating a more-just urban future inherently necessitates understanding the role of and place of infrastructure within and between cities.

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