1st Edition

Twenty-First Century Urbanism
A New Analysis of the City

ISBN 9780367501907
Published March 4, 2020 by Routledge
136 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This volume argues that the city cannot be captured by any one mode of analysis but instead is composed of the mobile, relational, efficient, sentient, and the phenomenological with all of them cast in new theoretical configurations and combined into one methodological entity. Rather than focusing on any one city or abstract analytical model, this book instead takes a multipronged theoretical and methodological approach to present the city as an intelligent affective organism – a sentient being.

It proposes that cities operate on a relational, mobile, and phenomenological basis through the mode of efficiency, calibrated by a profoundly complicated division of labor. Its starting point is that the city is a mobile unit of analysis, from its economic status to its demographic makeup, from its cultural configuration to its environmental conditions, and therefore easily evades our quantitative and qualitative methods of computation and comprehension.

Twenty-First Century Urbanism provides planning and urban design academics and students with a multifaceted approach to understanding the development of cities, encouraging the examination of cities through a myriad, non-linear approach.

Table of Contents


1.The city: what? 

2. The mobile city 

3.The relational city 

4. Efficiency and the city 

5.The sentient city 

6. Phenomenology and the city 



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Rob Sullivan is a former lecturer in geography at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of Street Level: Los Angeles in the Twenty-First Century and Geography Speaks: Performative Aspects of Geography. His book, The Geography of the Everyday: Toward An Understanding of the Given, will be published by the University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2017.


"How truly different is living in a city from in the countryside? Is it just a question of population density or is it more about the projects and paths that channel everyday life? In other words, are cities truly distinctive "objects," however much one might differ in its layout and phenomenology from another? Are cities changing their shape in response to dominant changes in the workings of the world economy?  These are the sorts of questions that animate this book. The author, Rob Sullivan, has interesting responses to all of them. What I like most about the book, however, is his refusal to confuse responses with totalizing answers."

John Agnew, Department of Geography, UCLA.