1st Edition

The City Critical Essays in Human Geography

By Jacques Lévy Copyright 2008

    The spread of urbanization has transformed the concept of the city, but the way urban planners, urban scientists and, above all, urban dwellers address it has also changed, probably even more so. The city is thus a new topic for geography, a discipline that has experienced an ambiguous relationship to cities in the past. What kind of geography is required in order to bring fresh insight to this renewed field? Drawing together a wide range of texts from philosophers, sociologists and economist as well as geographers and urban planners, this volume provides a theoretical framework within which this question can begin to be explored.

    Contents: Introduction: the city is back; Part 1 The City as a Concept: A City Is ...: Cities and signs, 1, 2, 5, Italo Calvino; The definition of the city, René Maunier; Urbanism as a way of life, Louis Wirth; The metropolis and mental life, Georg Simmel; Measuring urbanness, Jacques Lévy. The Open City and its Enemies: Genesis 11; Critias, Plato (translated Benjamin Jowett); The asphalt exodus, Jane Holtz Kay. Making the Complexity Thinkable: Of other spaces, Michel Foucault; Ville, Michel Lussault; Back to reality, Jane Jacobs; Writing the city spatially, Edward Soja; From urban form to urban relations: in search for a new kind of reflexive and critical knowledge in urban geography and city monitoring, Jean-Bernard Racine. Part 2 Urbanness, Urbanity: Public Space Beyond Urban Design: L'espace public comme lieu de l'action, Isaac Joseph; The construction of cities and urban lives (extract), Ulf Hannerz; Towards a geography and history of the public realm, Lyn H. Lofland. Gentrification: Not So Simple: Revolutionary and counter-revolutionary in geography and the problem of ghetto formation, David Harvey; Of yuppies and housing: gentrification, social restructuring, and the urban dream, Neil Smith; The blind men and the elephant: the explanation of gentrification, Chris Hammnett. Mobility: Not Only Technology: Motility: mobility as capital, Vincent Kaufmann, Manfred Max Bergman and Dominique Joye; European cities: towards a 'recreational turn', Mathis Stock. Co-Presence: A Future, Unexpected: Recombinant architecture, William J. Mitchell; The revenge of place, William J. Mitchell. Part III The City at Stake: The City as Agency: Discourses: The great city, Le Corbusier; The concept of urb and urbanisation, Ildefons Cerdà. Urban Flights: The urban place and the non-place urban realm, Melvyn Webber; The generic city, Rem Koolhaas; The search for the future inside ourselves, Joel Garreau. New Avenues for the City: Guidelines, pp41-55, The Next American Metropolis: Ec


    Jacques Lévy is Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.