The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South

1st Edition

Edited by Susan Parnell, Sophie Oldfield


636 pages | 70 B/W Illus.

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The renaissance in urban theory draws directly from a fresh focus on the neglected realities of cities beyond the west and embraces the global south as the epicentre of urbanism. This Handbook engages the complex ways in which cities of the global south and the global north are rapidly shifting, the imperative for multiple genealogies of knowledge production, as well as a diversity of empirical entry points to understand contemporary urban dynamics.

The Handbook works towards a geographical realignment in urban studies, bringing into conversation a wide array of cities across the global south – the ‘ordinary’, ‘mega’, ‘global’ and ‘peripheral’. With interdisciplinary contributions from a range of leading international experts, it profiles an emergent and geographically diverse body of work. The contributions draw on conflicting and divergent debates to open up discussion on the meaning of the city in, or of, the global south; arguments that are fluid and increasingly contested geographically and conceptually. It reflects on critical urbanism, the macro- and micro-scale forces that shape cities, including ideological, demographic and technological shifts, and rapidly changing global and regional economic dynamics. Working with southern reference points, the chapters present themes in urban politics, identity and environment in ways that (re)frame our thinking about cities. The Handbook engages the twenty-first-century city through a ‘southern urban’ lens to stimulate scholarly, professional and activist engagements with the city.


"In all, this collection offers a stimulating and provocative set of essays which highlight both the prosaic empirical aspects of urban development in cities of the south, as well as offering critical engagement with relatively new debates."Melanie Lombard, University of Manchester

Table of Contents

1. From the South Sophie Oldfield and Susan Parnell Part 1: Critical Urbanism 2. Critical Urbanism Sophie Oldfield 3. Worlding the South: Toward a Postcolonial Urban Theory Ananya Roy 4. Grounding Southern City Theory in Time and Place Alan Mabin 5. Is There a ‘South’ Perspective to Urban Studies? Sujata Patel 6. Disseminating ‘Best Practice’? The Coloniality of Urban Knowledge and City Models Carlos Vainer 7. New Geographies of Theorizing the Urban: Putting Comparison to Work for Global Urban Studies Jennifer Robinson Part 2: The Urban: Past, Present, Future 8. The Urban: Past, Present, Future Susan Parnell 9. Shaping Cities of the Global South: Legal Histories of Planning and Colonialism Robert Home 10. Troubling Continuities: Use and Utility of the Term ‘Slum’ Marie Huchzermeyer 11. Learning Planning From the South: Ideas from the New Urban Frontiers Vanessa Watson 12. Urban Land Markets: A Southern Exposure Richard Harris 13. The Urbanization/Development Nexus in the BRICS Ivan Turok Part 3: Global Economic Turbulence: (Re)configuring the Urban 14. Global Economic Turbulence: (Re)configuring the Urban Susan Parnell 15. Globalizing Capitalism and Southern Urbanization Eric Sheppard 16. Steering, Speeding, Scaling: China’s Model of Urban Growth and its Implications for Cities of the Global South Xiangming Chen 17. Does African Urban Policy Provide a Platform for Sustained Economic Growth? Bob Buckley and Achilles Kallergis 18. Disjunctures between Urban Infrastructure, Finance and Affordability Edgar Pieterse and Katherine Hyman 19. Re-Evaluating the Influence of Urban Agglomeration in Sub-Saharan Africa: Population Density, Technological Innovation and Productivity Deborah Fahy Bryceson 20. The Urban Informal Economy: Enhanced Knowledge, Appropriate Policies and Effective Organization Martha Chen and Caroline Skinner 21. Digital Dynamics: New Technologies and Work Transformations in African Cities Chris Benner Part 4: Politics, Transformation and the Southern City 22. Politics, Transformation and the Southern City Sophie Oldfield 23. Substantiating Urban Democracy: The Importance of Popular Representation and Transformative Democratic Politics Kristian Stokke 24. The Politics of the Urban Everyday in Cairo: Infrastructures of Oppositional Action Salwa Ismail 25. Claiming ‘Rights’ in the African City: Popular Mobilization and the Politics of Informality in Nairobi, Casablanca, Johannesburg and Cape Town Claire Bénit-Gbaffou and Sophie Oldfield 26. The Urban Poor and Strategies for a Pro-Poor Politics: Reflections on Shack/Slum Dwellers International Diana Mitlin and Sheela Patel 27. Occupancy Urbanism as Political Practice Solomon Benjamin 28. The Missing People: Reflections on an Urban Majority in Cities of the South AbdouMaliq Simone Part 5: Negotiating Society and Identity in Urban Spaces of the South 29. Negotiating Society and Identity in Urban Spaces of the South Sophie Oldfield 30. Conviviality and the Boundaries of Citizenship in Urban Africa Francis B. Nyamnjoh and Ingrid Brudvig 31. Contentious Identities? Urban Space, Cityness and Citizenship Philippe Gervais-Lambony 32. The Place of Migrant Women and the Role of Gender in the Cities of Asia Brenda S.A. Yeoh and Kamalini Ramdas 33. Spaces of Difference: Challenging Urban Divisions from the North to the South Sophie Watson 34. Hip-Hop Politics: Recognizing Southern Complexity Jenny F. Mbaye 35. Gender is Still the Battleground: Youth, Cultural Production, and the Remaking of Public Space in São Paulo Teresa P.R. Caldeira Part 6: Conceptualizing the Built Environment: Accounting for Southern Urban Complexities 36. Conceptualizing the Built Environment: Accounting for Southern Urban Complexities Susan Parnell 37. Regulating Service Delivery in Southern Cities: Rethinking Urban Heterogeneity Sylvy Jaglin 38. The Politics and Technologies of Urban Waste Garth Myers 39. Urban Mobilities: Innovation and Diffusion in Public Transport Roger Behrens 40. Urban Fragmentation, ‘Good Governance’ and the Emergence of the Competitive City Julio D. Dávila 41. The New Divided City? Planning and ‘Gray Space’ Between Global North-West and South-East Nufar Avni and Oren Yiftachel 42. Gentrification in the Global South? Loretta Lees 43. Peri-Urbanization and the Political Ecology of Differential Sustainability Adriana Allen Part 7: Big Stories of Urban Change 44. Big Stories of Urban Change Susan Parnell 45. Approaching Food Security in Cities of the Global South Jonathan Crush 46. Healthy Cities of/from the South Clare Herrick 47. Urban Poverty in Low-and Middle-Income Nations David Satterthwaite 48. Migration, Urbanization and Changing Gender Relations in the South Cecilia Tacoli and Sylvia Chant 49. Urban Metabolism of the Global South John E. Fernández 50. Urban Dynamics and the Challenges of Global Environmental Change in the South David Simon and Hayley Leck

About the Editors

Susan Parnell is an Urban Geographer in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science and also serves on the Executive Committee of the African Centre for Cities, both at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Sophie Oldfield is a Geographer and Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Urban & Land Use Planning
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing Countries