Urban Geopolitics : Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities book cover
1st Edition

Urban Geopolitics
Rethinking Planning in Contested Cities

ISBN 9781138962668
Published July 12, 2017 by Routledge
262 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In the last decade a new wave of urban research has emerged, putting comparative perspectives back on the urban studies agenda. However, this research is frequently based on similar case studies on a few selected cities in America and Europe and all too often focus on the abstract city level with marginal attention given to particular local contexts.

Moving away from loosely defined urban theories and contexts, this book argues it is time to start learning from and compare across different ‘contested cities’. It questions the long-standing Euro-centric academic knowledge production that is prevalent in urban studies and planning research. This book brings together a diverse range of international case studies from Latin America, South and South East Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East to offer an in-depth understanding of the worldwide contested nature of cities in a wide range of local contexts. It suggests an urban ontology that moves beyond the urban ‘West’ and ‘North’ as well as adding a comparative-relational understanding of the contested nature that ‘Southern’ cities are developing.

This timely contribution is essential reading for those working in the fields of human geography, urban studies, planning, politics, area studies and sociology.

Table of Contents

Foreword Introduction: Towards Contested Urban Geopolitics on a Global Scale Part I Comparative Urban Geopolitics 1. Post-War Reconstruction in Contested Cities: Comparing Urban Outcomes in Sarajevo and Beirut 2. Negotiating Cities: Nairobi and Cape Town 3. Ordinary Urban Geopolitics: Contrasting Jerusalem and Stockholm Part II Urban Geopolitics: South and South East Asia 4. The Tale of Ethno-political and Spatial Claims in a Contested City: The Muhajir Community in Karachi 5. The Practice of ‘Marketplace Coordination’ in Jakarta (1977–98) 6. The Politics of Doing Nothing: A Rethinking of the Culture of Poverty in Khulna c. 1882–1990 Part III Urban Geopolitics: Middle East and North Africa 7. The Camp vs the Campus: The Geopolitics of Urban Thresholds in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus 8. Urban Planning, Religious Voices and Ethnicity in the Contested City of Acre: The Lababidi Mosque Explored 9. Exploring the Roots of Contested Public Spaces of Cairo: Theorizing Structural Shifts and Increased Complexity Part IV Urban Geopolitics: Latin America 10. Unpacking Narratives of Social Conflict and Inclusion: Anti-gentrification Neighbourhood Organisation in Santiago, Chile 11. The Medellín's Shifting Geopolitics of Informality: The Encircled Garden as a Dispositive of Civil Disenfranchisement? 12. Assessing Critical Urban Geopolitics in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil Part V Comparative Discussion 13. Geopolitics, Cosmopolitanism and Planning: Contested Cities in a Global Context Afterword: Lineages of Urban Geopolitics

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Jonathan Rokem, PhD, is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL), UK. His research interests and publications focus on spatial and social critical analysis of cities and regions.

Camillo Boano, PhD, is Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit and Director of the MSc in Building and Urban Design in Development, UCL, UK. He is author of The Ethics of a Potential Urbanism: Critical Encounters Between Giorgio Agamben and Architecture (2017).

Support Material


  • Foreword Download

    Please click this link to download the preliminary pages and foreword, written by Sara Fregonese

  • Endorsements

    Urban Geopolitics is an excellent addition to the literature. The diverse essays will generate extensive discussion about the dynamics, parameters, and comparability of contemporary urbanization across a range of cities including many localities that have been less extensively studied. The scope of this collection is exceptionally rich and thought provoking.

    Prof. Matthew Gandy
    Editor, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR)
    University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

    “This pioneering volume points us in new theoretical directions--putting conflict at the center of urban research, transcending Euro-centrism, excavating the colonial foundations of urban inequality, and connecting today’s urban geopolitical spaces to broader territorial and global reconfigurations.”

    Prof. Scott A. Bollens
    Author, City and Soul in Divided Societies
    University of California, Irvine, California, USA

    “This wide-ranging collection of essays brings a new geopolitical perspective to urban studies. It asks scholars to think across a variety of political fault-lines and a range of different kinds of contestations which shape urban outcomes; thus all cities can be seen as sites of contestation, rather than treating places which have experienced war and violence as exceptions. The collection also draws on case studies from across many different regions, asking readers to reconsider geopolitical categories, like South and West, through which the world of cities is too often segmented. The authors of this collection succeed in stretching our understanding of the urban world”.

    Prof. Jennifer Robinson
    Author, Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development
    University College London, UK