Urban Theory and the Urban Experience brings together classic and contemporary approaches to urban research in order to reveal the intellectual origins of urban studies and the often unacknowledged debt that empirical and theoretical perspectives on the city owe one another.
From the foundations of modern urban theory in the work of Weber, Simmel, Benjamin and Lefebbvre to the writings of contemporary urban theorists such as David Harvey and Manuel Castells and the Los Angeles school of urbanism, Urban Theory and the Urban Experience traces the key developments in the idea of the city over more than a century. Individual chapters explore investigative studies of the great metropolis from Charles Booth to the contemporary urban research of William J. Wilson, along with alternative approaches to the industrial city, ranging from the Garden City Movement to ‘the new urbanism’.
The volume also considers the impact of new information and communication technologies, and the growing trend towards disaggregated urban networks, all of which raise important questions about viability and physical and social identity of the conventional townscape. Urban Theory and the Urban Experience concludes with a rallying cry for a more holistic and integrated approach to the urban question in theory and in practice if the rich potent.
For the benefit of students and tutors, frequent question points encourage exploration of key themes, and annotated further readings provide follow-up sources for the issues raised in each chapter. The book will be of interest to students, scholars, practitioners and all those who wish to learn more about why the urban has become the dominant social, economic and cultural form of the twenty-first century
Table of Contents
1. Encountering the City 2.The Foundations of Urban Theory: Weber, Simmel, Benjamin and Lefebvre 3. The City Described: Social Reform and the Empirical Tradition in Classic Urban Studies 4.Visions of Utopia: From the Garden City to the New Urbanism 5. Between the Suburb and the Ghetto: Urban Studies and the Search for Community In Britain and the United States After the Second World War 6. Urban Fortunes: Making Sense of the Capitalist City 7. The Contested City: Politics, People and Power 8. The Majority Urban World: the Growth and Development of Cities in the Global South 9. Cities Under Stress: the Uneven Geographies of Urban Deprivation 10. From Pillar to Post: Culture Representation and Difference 11. The Information City: Linking the Virtual and Material Urban Worlds 12. Putting the City in its Place: Urban Futures and the Future of Urban Theory
Simon Parker is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and Co-Director of the Centre for Urban Research at the University of York, UK. His research primarily focuses on urban studies and urban theory, socio-spatial informatics, the politics of asylum and immigration, and comparative European politics (with particular reference to Italy). He is the author of Cities, Politics and Power (Routledge 2011).