International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1468-2427
Publications
Article
This study examines the changing role of the public sector in Turkey with regard to housing provision since 1950, and particularly since 2000, and seeks to clarify how public intervention has affected housing provision and urban development dynamics in major cities. Three periods may be identified, with central government acting as a regulator in a first period characterized by a 'housing boom'. During the second period, from 1980 to 2000, a new mass housing law spurred construction activity, although the main beneficiaries of the housing fund tended to be the middle classes. After 2000, contrary to emerging trends in both Northern and Southern European countries, the public sector in Turkey became actively involved in housing provision. During this process, new housing estates were created on greenfield sites on the outskirts of cities, instead of efforts being made to rehabilitate, restore or renew existing housing stock in the cities. Meanwhile, the concept of 'urban regeneration' has been opportunistically incorporated into the planning agenda of the public sector, and - under the pretext of regenerating squatter housing areas - existing residents have been moved out, while channels for community participation have been bypassed.
 
Article
Housing nationalization as a solution to urban inequalities has a long history in European social thought. This article describes housing nationalization in a state-socialist context. Using a political economy perspective and relying on recently released archival material about housing in 1950s Romania, I argue that nationalization may be regarded as a special type of urban process. Nationalization raised the occupancy rate and intensified the usage of existing housing, desegregated centrally located neighborhoods, turned some residential space into office space for state institutions, facilitated the degradation of the existing housing stock and gradually produced a socialist gentry. Aside from similarities with other state-socialist nationalizations from the same period, Romanian nationalization resembled the housing policies of other statist regimes. The data also suggest that, even in the context of revolutionary change, the state is a sum of multiple, often diverging projects, rather than a coherent actor.
 
Article
The forceful pursuit of inner-city renewal in Shanghai since the early 1990s has to a great extent achieved spatial modernization, but at the same time it has given rise to increasing conflicts over residential relocation. Using law as a prism through which to examine the dialectic relationship between renewal practices and disputed relocation, this article argues that the series of unprecedented enactments in law that have taken place during this period have both paved the way for real estate market expansion and been a significant source of relocation disputes in Shanghai. Rather than viewing law as simply given and determinate, the article traces the regulatory regime's codification of property practices as a means of actively responding to the requirements of the real estate market. Under large-scale renewal practices, residents' legal rights of "return settlement" (huiban) in inner-city areas were largely denied in the early 1990s, before being effectively abolished by the adoption of monetary compensation for displacement in the 2000s. The evolving law on property practices has greatly shaped the process of disputed relocation while simultaneously posing a potential challenge to China's use of law for market-oriented development.
 
Article
Like income inequality, housing inequality in urban China is strongly affected by state policies that give preferential treatment to insiders. In this case, the key policies are related to their residence status, which involves not only their migration history but also their legal position. Using data from the Chinese census of 2000 for eight large cities, this study shows how residence status affects access to various pathways to housing. In addition to the well-known marginal housing situation of the recent ‘floating population’, it documents surprising advantages for migrants with urban registration status and persistent disadvantages for rural migrants regardless of how long they have lived in the city. Comme l’inégalité de revenu, l’inégalité de logement dans les villes chinoises est nettement affectée par les mesures étatiques qui privilégient les résidents en place. En l’occurrence, les politiques déterminantes s’attachent au statut de résidence, ce qui recouvre à la fois l’historique migratoire des individus et leur situation juridique. À partir des données du recensement chinois de 2000 dans huit grandes villes, l’étude montre comment le statut de résidence influe sur l’accès aux différents canaux conduisant à un logement. Outre la condition de logement marginale bien connue de la «population flottante» récente, sont exposés les surprenants atouts des migrants qui sont enregistrés comme urbains, et les inconvénients persistants que rencontrent les migrants ruraux quelle que soit la durée pendant laquelle ils ont vécu dans la ville.
 
Article
Since the early Chicago School, urban researchers have used residential proximity to assess contacts within and between racial and ethnic groups. This approach is increasingly limited. Diverse groups use email, social networking sites, instant messaging and mobile phones to communicate across urban zones and distant cities. These practices enable mutual support among far-flung family members and co-ethnics as they engage with an array of institutions throughout their day. Through interviews and observations that include women and men of diverse occupations, races and national origins, the author explores how and why cross-place enclosures of sociality and resources develop. Rather than framing the residential area as the locus of racial/ethnic concentration, the author focuses on cross-place concentrations in the technologically mediated workspace. This study enhances theorization of the structural negotiations, interpersonal pressures and group preferences that produce separate lifeworlds in globalizing cities.
 
Article
In the global South, policies providing property titles to low-income households are increasingly implemented as a solution to poverty. Integrating poor households into the capitalist economy using state-subsidized homeownership is intended to provide poor people with an asset that can be used in a productive manner. In this article the South African "housing subsidy system" is assessed using quantitative and qualitative data from in-depth research in a state-subsidized housing settlement in the city of Cape Town. The findings show that while state-subsidized property ownership provides long-term shelter and tenure security to low-income households, houses have mixed value as a financial asset. Although state-subsidized houses in South Africa are a financially tradable asset, transaction values are too low for low-income vendors to reach the next rung on the housing ladder, the township market. Furthermore, low-income homeowners are reticent to use their (typically primary) asset as collateral security for credit, and thus property ownership is not providing the financial returns that titling theories assume.
 
Article
The 1990s in Brazil were a time of institutional advances in the areas of housing and urban rights following the signing of the new constitution in 1988 that incorporated the principles of the social function of cities and property, recognition of the right to ownership of informal urban squatters and the direct participation of citizens in urban policy decision processes. These propositions are the pillars of the urban reform agenda which, since the creation of the Ministry of Cities by the Lula government, has come under the federal executive branch. This article evaluates the limitations and opportunities involved in implementing this agenda on the basis of two policies proposed by the ministry — the National Cities Council and the campaign for Participatory Master Plans — focusing the analysis on government organization in the area of urban development in its relationship with the political system and the characteristics of Brazilian democracy.
 
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Vertical social differentiation is presented in the recent literature as an important element of reduced segregation in South European cities, and the supporting evidence originates mainly from Athens. The authors of this article question the claim about the common form and function of vertical social differentiation across South Europe, as well as its opposition to community segregation, and try to reveal the specificity of the processes leading to its formation in Athens. Since the mid-1970s, the dominant process of urban growth in Athens has been middle-class suburbanization. This process has reinforced community segregation and, at the same time, has triggered a filtering-down process in wide areas around the CBD, formerly occupied by upper and mainly intermediate professional categories. Interclass vertical segregation has subsequently appeared in these areas, where intermediate professional categories and lower middle-class households are now predominant. The fact that these areas do not represent a real choice for any of their resident groups shows that this vertical cohabitation has been the unintended consequence of changing segregation patterns, and hardly the outcome or the corollary of a growing process of sociospatial homogenization.
 
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Suburban shrinkage, understood as a degenerative urban process stemming from the demise of the Fordist mode of urbanism, is generally manifested in a decline in population, industry and employment. It is also intimately linked to the global restructuring of industrial organization associated with the rise of the post-Fordist mode of urbanism and, more recently, the thrust of Asian industrialization. Framed in the discourse of industrial urbanism, this article examines the first ring of industrial suburbs that developed around large cities in their most rapid Fordist urbanization phase. These industrial suburbs, although they were formed at different times, are today experiencing specific mutations and undergoing profound restructuring on account of their particular spatial position between the central area and the expanding peripheries of the post-Fordist metropolis. This article describes and compares suburban decline in two European cities (Glasgow and Paris) and two Latin American Cities (São Paulo, Brazil and Guadalajara, Mexico), as different instances of places asymmetrically and fragmentarily integrated into the geography of globalization.
 
Article
This case study of recent efforts to deconcentrate poverty within the Skid Row area of Los Angeles examines processes of ‘weak-center’ gentrification as it applies to a ‘service dependent ghetto,’ thus filling two key gaps in prior scholarship. We document the collaboration between the government, business and development interests, and certain non-profit agencies in this process and identify two key mechanisms of poverty deconcentration: housing/service displacement and the criminalization of low income residents. Following Harvey, we argue that these efforts are driven by pressures to find a ‘spatial fix’ for capital accumulation through Downtown redevelopment. This process has been hotly contested, however, illustrating the strength of counter-pressures to gentrification/poverty deconcentration within ‘weak-center’ urban areas. Cette étude de cas porte sur les efforts entrepris récemment pour déconcentrer la pauvreté dans le quartier de Skid Row à Los Angeles. Elle examine les processus de gentrification d'un ‘centre faible’ lorsqu'ils s'appliquent à un ‘ghetto de populations dépendantes de services’, et comble ainsi deux grandes lacunes des recherches antérieures. Elle montre comment les intérêts du gouvernement, des entreprises et de l'urbanisme se joignent à certains organismes non lucratifs impliqués dans le processus. De plus, elle identifie deux mécanismes clés de la déconcentration de la pauvreté: le déplacement des logements et/ou services, et la criminalisation des habitants à faible revenu. Dans le sillage de Harvey, l'étude préconise que les efforts entrepris sont suscités par des pressions visant à trouver une ‘solution spatiale’à l'accumulation de capital en réaménageant le centre-ville. Toutefois, cette démarche a été vivement contestée, illustrant ainsi la vigueur de la résistance à l'encontre de la gentrification et de la déconcentration de la pauvreté dans le cadre d'un modèle urbain à‘centre faible’.
 
Article
'Once you get here, you realize that thinking Foucault was writing for you was terribly naïve, since in reality I did not exist as a subject for anyone like Foucault, or if I did it was only as an object of study', recalls one of the protagonists in this essay, a collage of fragments of interviews with foreign immigrants from impoverished countries who have settled in Barcelona and other Catalan towns in recent years. Widespread prejudice in the host society dictates that these people are generalized as being on a lower cultural level, anonymous members of the growing mass of immigrants prepared to work at any price. The prejudice seems to be confirmed by the fact that the great majority of them do low-skilled or unskilled work in sectors such as the building trade, hotels and restaurants and domestic service. The reality, however, is very different. The average level of formal education of these immigrants is similar to that of the host population. It is the precariousness of their legal status or the often insurmountable barriers preventing recognition of their academic and/or professional qualifications, or simply cultural prejudice, that condemn them to accept jobs well below their personal potential. Thus, the host society wastes social and cultural capital of the first order, and lays foundations for a permanent division between 'us' and 'them'. This essay offers a modest but revealing sample of the quality and diversity of the ideas and viewpoints of the immigrants themselves, an asset we continue to at best underestimate or more often ignore altogether. © 2011 The Author. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
 
Article
The research presented in this article employed a deliberate intervention to mobilize social capital and then studied the dynamics of the way in which it influenced community development. Whether or not social capital is able to facilitate development depends on the specific context in which it occurs. Although the general context of this study was that of small rural towns in Australia's outback that are experiencing decline, each of the four towns studied had unique features which could influence the mobilization of social capital. Rural communities have the willingness and capacity to mobilize but whether this capacity is actualized may well depend on the presence of other mobilizing factors. Specifically the intervention study found that a structure needs to be in place which can take the initiative and work across the community - engaging a range of organizations. Second, the structure needs to be supported, but not controlled, by local government. Third, it needs the kind of social entrepreneurship that can sustain a community-wide vision and bring together the diverse groups within the community.
 
Article
This is a study of Istanbul's periodic bazaars and an attempt to place them in the context of contestation over urban space, urban poverty and informality. The periodic bazaars in the city are either disappearing or being moved to the outskirts. These trends reflect and reproduce spatial unevenness in the city, manifesting new forms of social exclusion and polarization. The city's increasingly commodified urban space has become an arena of social and economic contestation. We address these questions by focusing on the story of the relocation of one of Istanbul's most popular periodic bazaars, the Tuesday bazaar in Kadiköy. Our analysis reveals that the relocation and reorganization of bazaars in Istanbul in the 2000s have largely been driven by rising real-estate prices in the city: land has simply become too precious a commodity to be left to the bazaaris. Furthermore, in the context of a pervasive neoliberal discourse on urban renewal and modernization that promotes the notion of a hygienic city, the bazaaris, it seems, have become the new undesirables of the urban landscape, leaving them under double siege from the commodification of public land and from spatially defined social exclusion.
 
Article
Based on interviews with Beirut intellectuals and architects, this essay endeavours to trace the contours for a phenomenology or anthropology of civil war. Thomas Hobbes serves as a guide, with his idea of civil war representing a relapse into the ‘state of nature’; as absence of sovereignty resulting in a ‘war of everybody against everybody’. The effects of ever-latent civil war in Beirut are far-reaching: the fragmentation of urban space and the disappearance of public space, the loss of memory and the fragmentation of time, even the reification of language. In the collective imagination and in the arts, Beirut appears as a ghost town, a spectral city with a spectral civility. What we discover is a city, its inhabitants, its social behaviour, but also its art and literature, in the grip of post-traumatic stress syndrome. From all this, we take home two things: first, any city can (at least in principle) relapse into a similar state of nature — Beirut can become a paradigm of latent civil war; and second, the traumatic modernity of Beirut mirrors the traumatic artistic expressions of modernism — the shock of modernity is also always a modernity of shock.
 
Article
This article examines citizen participation in the governance of contemporary urban green space. Rather than exploring normative questions of ideal forms of participatory democracy, it focuses on changing roles and relationships between local state and non-state actors in order to identify and explain the changing nature of participation. I argue that neoliberal urban restructuring has changed the conditions for participation and thus participation itself in fundamental ways and that we need an account of changes in statehood and governance in order to capture this conceptually. Based on the case of community gardens in Berlin, the article discusses the extent to which this changed relationship is expressed by current citizen participation as well as the potential and problems that result from it. My empirical results show the emergence of a new political acceptance of autonomously organized projects and active citizen participation in urban green space governance. The central argument of this article is that this new acceptance can be conceptualized as an expression of the neoliberalization of cities. Nevertheless, this neoliberal strategy at the same time leads to complex and contradictory outcomes and the resulting benefits are also acknowledged.
 
Article
Squatting as a housing strategy and as a tool of urban social movements accompanies the development of capitalist cities worldwide. We argue that the dynamics of squatter movements are directly connected to strategies of urban renewal in that movement conjunctures occur when urban regimes are in crisis. An analysis of the history of Berlin squatter movements, their political context and their effects on urban policies since the 1970s, clearly shows how massive mobilizations at the beginning of the 1980s and in the early 1990s developed in a context of transition in regimes of urban renewal. The crisis of Fordist city planning at the end of the 1970s provoked a movement of "rehab squatting" ('Instandbesetzung'), which contributed to the institutionalization of "cautious urban renewal" ('behutsame Stadterneuerung') in an important way. The second rupture in Berlin's urban renewal became apparent in 1989 and 1990, when the necessity of restoring whole inner-city districts constituted a new, budget-straining challenge for urban policymaking. Whilst in the 1980s the squatter movement became a central condition for and a political factor of the transition to "cautious urban renewal," in the 1990s large-scale squatting — mainly in the eastern parts of the city — is better understood as an alien element in times of neoliberal urban restructuring.
 
Article
Dubai's ecologic and economic complications are exacerbated by six years of accelerated expansion, a fixed top-down approach to urbanism and the construction of iconic single-phase mega-projects. With recent construction delays, project cancellations and growing landscape issues, Dubai's tower typologies have been unresponsive to changing environmental, socio-cultural and economic patterns (BBC, 2009; Gillet, 2009; Lewis, 2009). In this essay, a theory of ‘Big Regionalism’ guides an argument for an economically and ecologically linked tower typology called the Condenser. This phased ‘box-to-tower’ typology is part of a greater Landscape Urbanist strategy called Vertical Landscraping. Within this strategy, the Condenser's role is to densify the city, facilitating the creation of ecologic voids that order the urban region. Delineating ‘Big Regional’ principles, the Condenser provides a time-based, global–local urban growth approach that weaves Bigness into a series of urban-regional, economic and ecological relationships, builds upon the environmental performance of the city's regional architecture and planning, promotes a continuity of Dubai's urban history, and responds to its landscape issues while condensing development. These speculations permit consideration of the overlooked opportunities embedded within Dubai's mega-projects and their long-term impact on the urban morphology.
 
Article
This essay examines three examples of political treatment of the dead (specifically their bones) in the Republic of the Congo: the return of the remains of its capital's founder, Savorgnan de Brazza; the disappearance of the body of André Matswa, hailed by the people as their messianic 'saviour' guardian; and finally, the treatment of unidentified victims of the various armed conflicts that occurred during the years 1990-2002. These events can be analysed through the prism of two different historical perspectives: in terms of the moyenne durée, the treatment of Matswa's bones paved the way for the subsequent occurrences by creating a precedent; in the context of the 'present of history', the construction of a Brazza mausoleum is contemporaneous with official denial of the presence of human remains scattered across the capital city of Brazzaville as a result of armed conflicts. The comparative analysis of these historical configurations posits a set of circumstances whereby the bones become a symbolic buttress of the capital. The historical puzzle here is to understand how that which came together in claiming Matswa's bones becomes, in the context of democratization of the regime, an aesthetic sense of the 'beauty of death' as expressed by people when they see the shrine as their country's finest architectural accomplishment. Through the splendour of the monument, this aesthetic sense articulates the denial of the presence of the nameless dead. © 2011 The Author. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
 
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Villages-in-the-city (chengzhongcun) as distinct urban spaces in Chinese cities have attracted a lot of scholarly attention, and the term has been variously interpreted. The term "urban village" was initially borrowed and applied to describe this urban phenomenon. While the term in a Western context refers to a planned neighbourhood that features good urban planning and design, the question posed in this essay is: are villages-in-the-city the Chinese equivalent of urban villages? Furthermore, within China, villages-in-the-city are always regarded as migrant enclaves, no different from Zhejiang village or Xinjiang village in Beijing. Are they the same kind of settlement? A primary aim of this essay is to reassert the differences between villages-in-the-city and urban villages that have developed in the United Kingdom. A secondary objective is to explore the variations between villages-in-the-city and Zhejiang village. Through investigating the variations between these urban morphologies, this study attempts to fill gaps in the current literature and hence clarify the misconceptions and confusion about Chinese villages-in-the-city.
 
Article
How do we make sense of the colonial subject that is neither in revolt nor in open crisis? How do people reproduce their lives, fashion routines, etch out some meaning when the political is evacuated, when time is on hold? These questions loom over a contemporary disjuncture in Palestine, marked in part by the splintering and opening up of the field of subjective bonds, attachments and associations to new modalities of production, less circumscribed by previous normative parameters and engendering a host of complexities and ambivalences in politico-social relationalities. Yet most scholarship on Palestine remains caught up in reductive binaries of violence versus resistance and heavily reliant on rigid and aggregated categories, the bulk of it unable to capture entire assemblages of action, subjective dissonance, productive ambiguities and contingent vitalities that inflect so much of contemporary quotidian life. The refugee in particular has emerged as a destabilizing figure, capable of subversively using the spatio-temporality of the camp as the very resource through which to disturb ascribed categorizations. Reading the paradoxical multiplicity of actions that refugees — women, children and the elderly — perform in the space between Qalandia camp and its checkpoint provides an insight into some of what defines contemporary refugee subjectivities — flexibility, a readiness to take risks, an ability to maneuver through different temporal orders and instrumentalize the spatial fragmentation. These subjects, traversing and negotiating liminality in everyday life, point to lived and bodied affirmations of presence and visibility that cannot be understood through frameworks of recognition and rights.
 
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Jamaicans represent an important group of labour migrants moving to the US during the past two decades. Within this movement women have predominated and many are to be found working in the US health industry in the New York City and mid-Atlantic region. This paper examines two questions. The first issue is structural. What features of development in Jamaica, and what characteristics of the US health industry explain the gender and occupational composition of this flow? The second issue focuses on traits of the movers themselves and of their potential competitors in health service employment in the US. Finally the paper asks, what are the future trends in US health care and what do these trends portend for Jamaican women working in this field? Information about 419 jobs held by Jamaican immigrants in the US in the early 1980s provide the data for the study. -from Author
 
Article
Urban shrinkage is not a new phenomenon. It has been documented in a large literature analyzing the social and economic issues that have led to population flight, resulting, in the worse cases, in the eventual abandonment of blocks of housing and neighbourhoods. Analysis of urban shrinkage should take into account the new realization that this phenomenon is now global and multidimensional — but also little understood in all its manifestations. Thus, as the world's population increasingly becomes urban, orthodox views of urban decline need redefinition. The symposium includes articles from 10 urban analysts working on 30 cities around the globe. These analysts belong to the Shrinking Cities International Research Network (SCIRN), whose collaborative work aims to understand different types of city shrinkage and the role that different approaches, policies and strategies have played in the regeneration of these cities. In this way the symposium will inform both a rich diversity of analytical perspectives and country-based studies of the challenges faced by shrinking cities. It will also disseminate SCIRN's research results from the last 3 years.
 
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This article examines two different models of space management, devised by NGOs to confront the marketization of public space in New York City through privatizing the land of community gardens. The Trust for Public Land promotes a model that emphasizes community ownership, while the New York Restoration Project promotes a model that emphasizes the preservation of land. The article compares the two models of NGO management of community gardens particularly through the lens of community participation, sense of ownership and control over space, and argues that both models transform the meaning of public space in ways that undermine its opportunity to develop as an autonomous community space. L'étude porte sur deux modèles de gestion spatiale conçus par des ONG face à la commercialisation de l'espace public de la ville de New York via la privatisation des terrains occupés par les jardins communautaires. D'un côté, le modèle du Trust for Public Land prône la propriété communautaire, de l'autre, celui du New York Restoration Project privilégie la préservation des terrains. La comparaison des modèles des deux ONG pour l'administration des jardins communautaires s'effectue à travers le prisme de la participation communautaire, du sens de la propriété et de la maîtrise des espaces. Il en résulte que, l'un comme l'autre, ils transforment la signification de l'espace public d'une façon qui compromet la possibilité d'un aménagement en tant qu'espace communautaire autonome.
 
Article
Over the past three decades, China's cities have undergone massive spatial restructuring in the wake of market reforms and economic growth. One consequence has been a rapid migration of urban residents to the periphery. Some movers have been forced out either by rising urban rents or government reclamation of their residences. Others have relocated willingly to modernized housing or for other lifestyle reasons. This article examines the effects of relocation to the urban edge on household well-being. It explores the factors underlying changes in housing and transportation costs as households move to the periphery. The research also examines whether those who moved involuntarily are affected differently from those who moved by choice. Results show that, relative to those who moved by choice, involuntary movers are disproportionately and adversely affected in terms of job accessibility, commute time, housing consumption and disposable income. The findings also show that, compared with higher-income households, lower-income groups are disproportionately affected in relation to housing costs, accessibility losses, disposable income and household worker composition. These results indicate that relocation compensation for involuntarily relocated households should be expanded to include more than just housing value: it should encompass urban location changes, household needs and relocation costs.
 
Article
Based on a large-scale household survey conducted in 2007, this article reports on poverty concentration and determinants in China's low-income neighbourhoods and social groups. Three types of neighbourhood are recognized: dilapidated inner-city neighbourhoods, declining workers' villages and urban villages. Respondents are grouped into four categories: working, laid-off/unemployed and retired urban residents, together with rural migrants. We first measure poverty concentration across different types of neighbourhood and different groups. The highest concentrations are found in dilapidated inner-city neighbourhoods and among the laid-off/unemployed. Mismatches are found between actual hardships, sense of deprivation and distribution of social welfare provision. Second, we examine poverty determinants. Variations in institutional protection and market remuneration are becoming equally important in predicting poverty generation, but are differently associated with it in the different neighbourhoods and groups. As China's urban economy is increasingly shaped by markets, the mechanism of market remuneration is becoming a more important determinant of poverty patterns, especially for people who are excluded from state institutions, notably laid-off workers and rural migrants.
 
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This article is an intervention in the epistemologies and methodologies of urban studies. It seeks to understand and transform the ways in which the cities of the global South are studied and represented in urban research, and to some extent in popular discourse. As such, the article is primarily concerned with a formation of ideas - "subaltern urbanism" - which undertakes the theorization of the megacity and its subaltern spaces and subaltern classes. Of these, the ubiquitous ‘slum’ is the most prominent. Writing against apocalyptic and dystopian narratives of the slum, subaltern urbanism provides accounts of the slum as a terrain of habitation, livelihood, self-organization and politics. This is a vital and even radical challenge to dominant narratives of the megacity. However, this article is concerned with the limits of and alternatives to subaltern urbanism. It thus highlights emergent analytical strategies, utilizing theoretical categories that transcend the familiar metonyms of underdevelopment such as the megacity, the slum, mass politics and the habitus of the dispossessed. Instead, four categories are discussed — peripheries, urban informality, zones of exception and gray spaces. Informed by the urbanism of the global South, these categories break with ontological and topological understandings of subaltern subjects and subaltern spaces.
 
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This essay on Shenzhen, China, presents three vignettes addressing the question of home in a city of migrants. The first section explores the ubiquitous narratives of success forming the city's foundational myth. The second follows this myth into the world of a Shenzhen filmmaker and his characters, as they navigate the tension between the idea of home and the urge to start anew, resulting in the suspended possibility of the title. The last section looks at young architects who hope to preserve the city's heterotopic sites of migrants and original villagers through architectural innovations. The cases show how an economy of desire supplements the political economy of this export-driven city. The city appears as an urban desiring machine that produces itself as an object of desire for the migrants of all classes who flock to its factories, "urban villages", white-collar jobs, luxury villas and underground economy. The essay is an encounter with the mythology of success and failure, the intertwining of home as an end and home as the beginning, and with the manipulation of space that allows residents to control their own subjectivity.
 
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Shrinking mining cities — once prosperous settlements servicing a mining site or a system of mining sites — are characterized by long-term population and/or economic decline. Many of these towns experience periods of growth and shrinkage, mirroring the ebbs and flows of international mineral markets which determine the fortunes of the dominant mining corporation upon which each of these towns heavily depends. This dependence on one main industry produces a parallel development in the fluctuations of both workforce and population. Thus, the strategies of the main company in these towns can, to a great extent, determine future developments and have a great impact on urban management plans. Climate conditions, knowledge, education and health services, as well as transportation links, are important factors that have impacted on lifestyles in mining cities, but it is the parallel development with the private sector operators (often a single corporation) that constitutes the distinctive feature of these cities and that ultimately defines their shrinkage. This article discusses shrinking mining cities in capitalist economies, the factors underpinning their development, and some of the planning and community challenges faced by these cities in Australia, Canada, Japan and Mexico.
 
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Since the 1960s, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) culture has developed in big cities and metropolises everywhere (not only in the West, but also in Asia, Latin America and indeed Africa). This essay examines how cities provide the spatial conditions necessary for the formation of such emancipatory movements based on identity politics and strategies which transcend binary gender dualism. The starting point of this investigation is my thesis that only urban life enables LGBTQ individuals to live their lives fully, realize their (sexual) identities, and furthermore organize themselves collectively, become publicly visible, and appropriate urban, societal and political spaces.
 
Article
Housing cooperatives became active in urban areas in Sweden, India and the United States during the interwar period. Yet, after the second world war, while housing cooperatives grew phenomenally nationwide in Sweden and India, they did not do so in the United States. This article makes a comparative institutional analysis of the evolution of housing cooperatives in these three countries. The analysis reveals that housing cooperatives' relationship with the state and the consequent support structures explain the divergent evolution. Although the relationships between cooperatives and the state evolved over time, they can be characterized as embedded autonomy, overembeddedness and disembeddedness in Sweden, India and the United States respectively. Whereas the consequent support structures for housing cooperatives became well developed in Sweden and India, such structures have been weak in the United States. The article highlights the need for embedded autonomy and the need for supportive structures to enable the growth of housing cooperatives.
 
Article
Since the 1980s, the issue of social mix has become a public policy category in France. Enshrined in legislation, yet remaining controversial, it represents a major premise on which housing policies have been reconfigured. The concept of social mix is essentially based on who lives where, but it is also evoked in the context of urban renewal schemes for social housing estates, as well as in relation to new-build developments. A study of the bases of social mix policies conducted in Paris since 2001 in the context of the embourgeoisement of the capital shows the fundamental role of social housing stock. The City Council has become involved in policy decisions about both the location and the allocation of social housing. Particular attention has been paid to the middle classes in the name of the principle of 'balancing the population'. In order to measure the effects of the policy, this article relies on an analysis of two City of Paris schemes that have the stated intent of creating social mix. One of these schemes consists of redeveloping a working-class neighbourhood, Goutte d'Or, while the other involves the new acquisition of social housing in various more affluent neighbourhoods in the capital. This comparative study of the population shows that, whether in a neighbourhood poised for gentrification or in a more affluent neighbourhood, this policy has major effects on forms of local social cohesion, setting in motion individual trajectories and reshaping social and/or ethnic identities. © 2010 The Authors. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
 
Article
Many American and European cities have to deal with demographic and economic trajectories leading to urban shrinkage. According to official data, 13% of urban regions in the US and 54% of those in the EU have lost population in recent years. However, the extent and spatial distribution of declining populations differ significantly between Europe and the US. In Germany, the situation is driven by falling birth rates and the effects of German reunification. In the US, shrinkage is basically related to long-term industrial transformation. But the challenges of shrinking cities seldom appeared on the agendas of politicians and urban planners until recently. This article provides a critical overview of the development paths and local strategies of four shrinking cities: Schwedt and Dresden in eastern Germany; Youngstown and Pittsburgh in the US. A typology of urban growth and shrinkage, from economic and demographic perspectives, enables four types of city to be differentiated and the differences between the US and eastern Germany to be discussed. The article suggests that a new transatlantic debate on policy and planning strategies for restructuring shrinking cities is needed to overcome the dominant growth orientation that in most cases intensifies the negative consequences of shrinkage.
 
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Article
A great deal is at issue in the handling of the threat of terrorism in the United States today. Restrictions on the use of public space are a direct consequence, at the urban level, of what is happening. But beyond that, and beyond the various abuses of civil liberties and common sense that have been involved in the governmental misuse of the threat after 9/11, the most serious misuse may be the sale of the threat as a threat to existential security instead of as one danger among others to public safety. It has been manipulated for purposes having nothing to do with terrorism. The intended result has been to reinforce the positions of those in power, to displace the insecurity inherent in a capitalist free market system, and to limit further the freedom that is at the heart of the right to the city. The current treatment of public space illustrates the process. Copyright (c) 2006 The Author. Journal Compilation (c) 2006 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd..
 
Article
In this exploratory article we investigate how longstanding 'competitive city' projects are actively reshaped by recent national security initiatives in urban waterfronts. We argue that port districts in large waterfront cities are becoming critical sites where actors are struggling to further different agendas. While proponents of competitive city projects appear directly concerned with promoting a particular vision of capitalist urban development in contrast to the national security agenda of port and border securitization, we contend that a simple dichotomy between 'economy' and 'security' cannot capture their complex intermingling. We examine the emergent public discourses of port (in)security in the US and Canada since 9/11, paying particular attention to the convergences between port security and waterfront gentrification initiatives, while also noting conflicts between these agendas. We identify four key areas of change: relations of power in the governance of port spaces, rationales of urban planning decisions, physical redesign of urban port spaces, and conflicts between 'economy' and 'security'. Post 9/11 port security initiatives are sometimes at odds and other times at ease with the competitive city agendas that are readily apparent in urban waterfront redevelopments. Both projects have disturbing implications for social justice in waterfront cities. Copyright (c) 2006 The Authors. Journal Compilation (c) 2006 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
 
Article
The attack on the World Trade Center will have a significant effect on urban development in New York City, not so much because it will change existing patterns, but because it will intensify them. The effect will come from the way leaders in the political and business community act after September 11th, more than from what the attack itself accomplished. Among the key effects will be a further barricading of spaces within the city, a concentrated deconcentration of business activities away from the center and their citadelization. The process of public planning is increasingly irrelevant; deplanning might be a better word for it. Decision-making is concentrated in quasi-governmental bodies, freed from the obligation to follow democratic procedures. Business groups, particularly those involved in global processes, are well organized and are pressing for planning and for subsidies serving their interests. There is publicly-oriented activity also, but less focused and not (yet?) raising distributional and social justice issues as central concerns. The net result is a further skewing of the benefits and costs of globalization. Copyright Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2002.
 
Article
This article is a reaction to the rapid changes,many urban areas are undertaking in attempts to counter the contemporary terrorist threat since the devastating events of September 11th. The response of central London authorities both pre- and post-September 11th is used as the lens through which to view attempts to reduce the real and perceived threat of terrorist attack through the adoption of territorial approaches to security, both physical and technological, which are increasingly being utilized at ever-expanding spatial scales. It argues that this situation all too often produces a scenario of 'splintered urbanism' as security rings are thrown up around carefully selected sections of cities deemed most at risk. It further argues for a balance to be struck between competing concerns for freedom of access, mobility and other democratic freedoms, and the need for cities to adopt increasingly militarized security perspectives in their counter-terrorism efforts.
 
Article
The effects of the attack on the World Trade Center have been especially felt within New York City’s large tourism industry. An important source of employment for low–skilled workers, the tourism industry has sustained substantial job loss in the aftermath of September 11th. Within the context of regulation theory we can see that the tourism regime is caught in a difficult dilemma. On the one hand, it must develop the city in a way that seems welcoming to visitors — that is, it must regulate the city for the benefit of visitors. On the other, it must regulate tourists to assure that they do not present a danger to residents, visitors and the industry itself. L’attaque du World Trade Center a eu des conséquences particulières sur l’important secteur touristique new–yorkais. Source considérable de travail pour le personnel peu qualifié, le tourisme a perdu un grand nombre d’emplois après le 11 septembre. Dans le contexte de la théorie de la régulation, on constate que les autorités touristiques sont prisonnières d’un difficile dilemme. D’un côté, elles doivent aménager la ville de manière accueillante, autrement dit elles doivent réguler la ville à l’intention des visiteurs. De l’autre, elles doivent réguler les touristes de sorte qu’ils ne présentent aucun danger pour les habitants, les visiteurs et le secteur lui–même.
 
Article
Since September 11th 2001 'terrorism' has understandably become the preoccupation of many, especially in urban areas, where the threat of 'terrorism' is greatest. High on the list of priorities is tightening up the technological means of ensuring security, by adopting in particular new surveillance measures. While these are mainly expansions of already existing systems - biometrics, ID cards, CCTV and communications interception - an interesting and perhaps disturbing new feature of these is the apparent willingness to create modes of integration between previously separate systems. Similar software and dependence on algorithmic techniques permit data-sharing across several boundaries that were previously less porous. The dispersed datagathering of the surveillant assemblage, that includes relatively 'innocent' items such as consumer transaction trails - 'categorical seduction' - converges with the more centralized activities of policing and intelligence - 'categorical suspicion' - in the effort to make urban areas safe. The consequences of this are likely to be far-reaching, reinforcing our reliance on technological solutions, and increasingly inserting them into the routines of everyday life in the city.
 
Article
Since September 11th 2001 ‘terrorism’ has understandably become the preoccupation of many, especially in urban areas, where the threat of ‘terrorism’ is greatest. High on the list of priorities is tightening up the technological means of ensuring security, by adopting in particular new surveillance measures. While these are mainly expansions of already existing systems — biometrics, ID cards, CCTV and communications interception — an interesting and perhaps disturbing new feature of these is the apparent willingness to create modes of integration between previously separate systems. Similar software and dependence on algorithmic techniques permit data-sharing across several boundaries that were previously less porous. The dispersed data-gathering of the surveillant assemblage, that includes relatively ‘innocent’ items such as consumer transaction trails —‘categorical seduction’— converges with the more centralized activities of policing and intelligence —‘categorical suspicion’— in the effort to make urban areas safe. The consequences of this are likely to be far-reaching, reinforcing our reliance on technological solutions, and increasingly inserting them into the routines of everyday life in the city. Depuis le 11 septembre 2001, le ‘terrorisme’ est naturellement devenu la préoccupation de beaucoup, surtout dans les zones urbaines où la menace ‘terroriste’ est la plus forte. Aux premiers rangs des priorités, on trouve les moyens technologiques d'assurer la sécurité, notamment l'adoption de nouvelles mesures de surveillance. Si certaines consistent principalement àétendre les systèmes existants (biométrie, cartes d'identité, circuits de télévision et interception des communications), l'une des nouvelles méthodes, intéressante mais quelque peu troublante, est la volonté apparente de créer des modes d'intégration entre des systèmes jusqu'alors indépendants. Des logiciels similaires et une subordination à des techniques algorithmiques permettent le partage de données à travers plusieurs frontières auparavant moins perméables. La collecte de données éparses dans l'assemblage de surveillance, incluant des éléments relativement ‘innocents’ tels que le suivi des transactions de clients s'allie aux activités les plus centralisées de la police et du renseignement afin de sécuriser les zones urbaines. Les conséquences sont susceptibles d'aller plus loin, renforçant notre dépendance à l'égard de solutions technologiques et multipliant celles-ci dans les routines de la vie quotidienne urbaine.
 
Article
An evolving body of doctrine, Military Operations in Urbanized Terrain (MOUT), has developed over the last several decades on the assumption that extensive military presence in cities in both warfare and less than war conditions will be necessary in the twenty–first century to deal with the aggression of ‘rouge’ nations, terrorism and civilian disorders. The examination of MOUT doctrine undertaken here, most basically, contributes to a recognition that urban warfare and military operations are relevant, if not normal, urban phenomena. MOUT doctrine also facilitates identifying trends in the prevention, repression and control of mass citizen political mobilizations within and among cities. Finally, this perspective situates the ‘War on Terrorism’ as a factor that is broadening and deepening, rather than causing, the increasing militarization of urban space. Au cours des dernières décennies, une partie évolutive de la doctrine, les opérations militaires en milieu urbain (MOUT), s’est développée à partir de l’idée qu’au vingt–et–unième siècle, il faudra une large présence militaire dans les villes, à la fois en temps de guerre et dans des situations non conflictuelles, afin de gérer l’agression des nations ‘rouges’, le terrorisme et les désordres civils. L’étude de la doctrine des MOUT, entreprise ici de manière très élémentaire, permet de reconnaître que les opérations urbaines militaires et combattantes sont des phénomènes urbains significatifs, voire normaux. Cette doctrine facilite également l’identification de tendances en matière de prévention, répression et contrôle des mobilisations politiques de masse des citoyens dans les villes. En conclusion, cette perspective établit la ‘guerre contre le terrorisme’ en tant que facteur qui élargit et accentue, sans en être la cause, la militarisation croissante de l’espace urbain.
 
Article
Many studies have examined the role of racial prejudice and discrimination in the creation of racial residential segregation in US cities. Yet few researchers have situated early twentieth-century meanings of race and racism within broader processes of urban development and the emergence of the modern real estate industry. Using a case study of Kansas City, Missouri, this article examines the organized efforts of community builders and homeowner associations to create racially homogeneous neighborhoods through the use and enforcement of racially restrictive covenants. Racially restrictive covenants encoded racial difference in urban space and helped nurture emerging racial prejudices and stereotypes that associated black residence with declining property values, deteriorating neighborhoods and other negative consequences. I argue that the cultivation and development of this segregationist ideology was simultaneously an exercise in the racialization of urban space that linked race and culturally specific behavior to place of residence in the city. As the twentieth century progressed, the identification of black behavior and culture with deteriorating neighborhoods became an important impetus and justification for exclusionary real estate practices designed to create and maintain the geographical separation of the races and control metropolitan development. I conclude with a discussion of how the linkage between race, racism and urban space helps to explain why racial residential segregation remains a persistent and tenacious feature of US metropolitan areas despite the passage of fair housing and numerous antidiscrimination statutes over the past decades.
 
Article
The international town planning milieu forms an intriguing web of people, books, exhibitions, congresses and ideas. Exploring it can add to our nationally oriented understanding of the ways in which the urban scene was conceived in the twentieth century. This article aims to place this exploration in the wider context of the 'Urban Internationale' the sphere dedicated to the declensions of 'urban issues' such as town planning, housing and urban government. It suggests that the Urban Internationale can be structured around three areas of focus: voluntary associations, international institutions and the big US philanthropic foundations. The development of those areas and the relationships between them shaped the way in which 'urban issues' were defined and treated. Copyright Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.
 
UN expenditures and the share going to housing, 1960–2000 (source: UN Yearbook of Statistics, various years)
Article
Housing policy in the developing world has usually been shaped by social and political considerations, yet housing can also be used to promote economic development. From the 1930s to the 1950s, it was increasingly deployed for this purpose by the agencies of colonial powers, including Britain and France; by the United States in Puerto Rico; and by the US Agency for International Development and the Inter-American Development Bank in Latin America. By the mid- 1960s, the UN and affiliated agencies, notably the International Labour Office, had a keen and broad appreciation of its significance for economic policy. This understanding was temporarily swamped by rising social concerns and then sidelined when the World Bank began to support sites-and-services schemes in the 1970s. It reasserted itself in the 1980s in the form of 'market enabling' strategies which, however, too often became an excuse for inaction. This history underlines the importance of paying attention to the potential role of housing as a tool of economic development.
 
Mortgage deficient areas in Sacramento in 1974 (source: California Department of Savings and Loan Fair Lending Report No. 1, Vol. II, 1977)
Preliminary map of areas with racially restrictive covenants and mortgage deficient areas in Sacramento (source: author's review of public records)
Percentage of loan denials by census tract for Sacramento County in 2004 (source: FFIEC HMDA raw data, 2004)
Article
Despite decades of government reform, the American housing credit system continues to mirror long-standing patterns of racial segregation and inequality. Consistent with this trend, the current housing crisis reveals an unusually high concentration of subprime mortgage activity and property foreclosures in non-white residential settlements across the nation. Given the generally accepted premise of market neutrality, this case study of lending patterns in Sacramento, California, questions why US housing market exchanges continue to produce racially disparate outcomes and seeks to identify the ideological practices in which race is deployed, informs state and private economic action and shapes contemporary credit market practices. Malgré des décennies de réformes gouvernementales, le système de crédit immobilier américain reflète toujours les anciens schémas de ségrégation raciale et d’inégalité. Conforme à cette logique, la crise du logement actuelle révèle une concentration étonnamment élevée de prêts hypothécaires à risque (subprime) et de saisies immobilières dans les quartiers résidentiels non-blancs du pays. Considérant l’hypothèse communément admise de la neutralité du marché, cette étude de cas sur les schémas de prêts à Sacramento (Californie) analyse les raisons pour lesquelles les transactions immobilières continuent à produire des résultats distinctifs au plan racial; elle identifie également les pratiques idéologiques dans lesquelles la race intervient, guide l’action économique de l’État et du secteur privé, et façonne les pratiques contemporaines sur le marché du crédit.
 
Article
No one has documented the changing geography of low-income settlements in any city in the developing world over the entire postwar period. The most plausible model of this changing geography, first outlined by John F.C. Turner, indicates the existence of a dual concentration of the poor: in central slums and in informal settlements at the periphery. This dual pattern is associated, respectively, with the filtering-down of older housing and with owner-construction of new dwellings, sometimes on illegally-occupied land. Some writers have suggested that central slums deteriorate, while fringe settlements may be improved over time, thereby distinguishing slums of despair from those of hope. Analysis of the Egyptian census from 1947 to 1996 shows that this suggestion is borne out by the postwar experience of Cairo. Evidence on literacy indicates that central and fringe areas have both contained a high proportion of low-income households, but that over half a century the relative status of the central areas has slowly declined. Although it has helped to shape the experience of millions, this long-term trend has not been obvious to close observers of the local scene. Similar historical surveys should be undertaken of low-income settlements in other cities in the developing world.
 
Top-cited authors
Jamie Peck
  • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
Allen J Scott
  • University of California, Los Angeles
Jennifer Robinson
  • University College London
David Harvey
  • CUNY Graduate Center
Ash Amin
  • University of Cambridge