Towards Safe City Centres?: Remaking the Spaces of an Old-Industrial City, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Towards Safe City Centres?

Remaking the Spaces of an Old-Industrial City, 1st Edition

By Gesa Helms


238 pages

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Examining the rising interest in quality-of-life offences, anti-social behaviour and incivilities in urban public spaces, this study explores the rising importance of policing, crime control and community safety policies in the context of the ongoing urban restructuring in old-industrial cities. This is achieved through an extensive exploration into the making and remaking of urban spaces in the city of Glasgow. In so doing, this book puts forward a strong and innovative theoretical argument. Framed in a critical Marxist perspective that draws on debates within German-speaking critical theory and Marxism, this study argues for the centrality of human social praxis in our understanding of contemporary cities. It engages with questions over the production of social space, a (fragmented) social totality and human agency, which so far have only received limited attention in Anglo-American debates.


'Gesa Helms' book provides a fascinating, theoretically and empirically rich analysis of the complex interactions between the processes of economic regeneration, local crime control and the new goverancne of urban safety. Focused on a case-study of the specific geo-history of Glasgow, Helms makes an original and provocative contribution to the burgeoning scholarship on the contested politics of the "criminalisation" of urban and social policy.' Gordon Hughes, Cardiff University , UK 'Gesa Helms has produced a wonderful and path breaking account of the interrelationships between economic change, security, crime control, and the city. This book is organised with a clarity of communication and it powerfully conveys the contradictions of the regulation of city environments, and the limits of New Labour's social cohesion agenda. It makes significant contributions to the understanding of policing, security, and urban regeneration, and is a brilliant example of how to interconnect theory with empirical research, and it provides new and original insights into the regulation of city spaces.' Rob Imrie, King's College London, UK 'Overall, this book presents a sound analysis of the ways in which class and economic imperatives impact on safe-keeping strategies. In so doing, it offers insights into an aspect of safe-keeping which has remained overlooked in extant fear of crime studies.' Urban Geography Research Group '… Helm's book is a major achievement in at least three ways. It provides an unusually rich account of the interdependence of economic restructuring, crime control and issues of safety in Glasgow that may well inspire researchers interested in similar issues elsewhere in the UK and Europe. It also has much in store for students of governance processes more generally, especially because it offers a framework for analysing the complexity of converting the intentions expressed in policy documents and covenants in actual working practices at particular times and

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Empirical Vignettes: Introduction: towards safe city centres?; Marxian social praxis and the production of space; Critical Marxism, the production of space and safe city centres: towards a research agenda; Remaking the (old-industrial) city: urban restructuring, imagineering and crime control; Regulating the spaces of an old-industrial city; Representing the city centre: Glasgow's city centre representatives; Discussion: towards safe city centres; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Dr Gesa Helms is a Lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Glasgow, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General