A curation of articles, essays, book reviews and interviews on critical geographical concerns.
In this article, we scrutinize the concept of ‘urban informality’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. By unpacking key moments in Rio’s history when conceptualizations of informal housing (i.e., favelas) changed, we explain why favelas have been understood in different ways over the last century. Our argument is that the concept of informality, while signaling an important shift in how favelas were understood, also perpetuated orientalist epistemologies in theories of urban development. This helps to explain why the term gained traction when it did, as well as why it remains salient today. In Rio, this means that changing understandings of favelas over the last century reveal little about actual changes within favelas, and more about how different geographic imaginaries were projected onto them, reflecting specific ‘problems’ confronting the city at different moments in history. This is important for seeing how conceptualizations of favelas – including the ways we understand urban informality – tend to mirror a host of latent social and political anxieties connected to urban development, including attempts to govern and control informal space.
In this article, we argue that modes of labour and value extraction have been under-researched and under-theorised in critical geographical research on migration, asylum and refugee humanitarianism. We examine data production, voluntary work programmes and financialised asylum housing as key sites through which value is extracted from asylum-seekers’ unpaid and reproductive activities.
In Homestead, Indigenous Maya migrants displaced during and after scorched earth counterinsurgency work in ornamental plant and palm nurseries, filling U.S. subdivisions and yards with verdant plant life. These flourishing plants produce and stabilize suburban property regimes across the country.
This article considers how urban peripheries are made and unmade by forms of “shifting”. We examine these shifts from the perspective of rickshaw garages and mess dormitories in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which both offer makeshift working and living arrangements to rural–urban migrants.
This article is concerned with urbanization as it shapes and is shaped by disaster finance instruments. It argues that where localized everyday disasters are ongoing, they fall through the cracks of existing financing schemes because of ongoing scalar mismatches between instruments and actually existing disaster conditions.
This article discusses the concept of porosity and what it might offer critical urbanism. It engages recent scholarly and practical writing on the “porous city,” outlining three sets of contributions that porosity offers in analyzing contemporary urbanization patterns and in orienting planning, policymaking, and knowledge production.
Through a contemporary history of social conflicts surrounding the Corredor, I demonstrate how corporate and State actors work together to make corporations appear as if they were independent from the social contexts in which they operate and therefore free from responsibility for the harms they cause. Following Timothy Mitchell, I call this the “corporate effect.”
This article explores the tiny house movement as a contemporary example of alternative housing practices. Within the stories women tell about their tiny house journeys, we uncover diverse prefigurative practices and politics, which in turn invoke an expanded sense of fairness and agency in and through housing.
This article invites critical geographers to reconsider the conceptual offerings of Austrian-British object-relations psychoanalyst Melanie Klein (1882–1960), whose metapsychology has had a significant but largely unacknowledged contemporary influence on the field via theorists like Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick and Lauren Berlant.
Though not an exhaustive list, these are many of the main areas we cover.
Writings that critically engage the ongoing conditions of coloniality and its effects. Entries in this section may also speculate on intellectual, political and organizational tactics that work to resist coloniality, colonization and colonialism’s effects in the present.
Examines the evolving social, ecological, cultural and geopolitical impacts of energy systems and resource extraction, with particular emphasis on the spatial relationships that structure the extraction, production, distribution and consumption of energy and other natural resources and raw materials
Chronicles past, present, and potential impacts of technoscientific development on the production of space. Provides critical looks into how scientific disciplines and industries influence how we analyze, categorize, experience, interpret, navigate, and represent that which we call space.
Investigates the spatial implications of the mass production, consumption, and disposal of digital media. Core areas of study include the environmental impacts, industrial landscapes, infrastructures, political transformations, social activities, and subjectivities particular to the digital age.
Charts the role that maps and various other forms of geo-visualisation play in the production of space. Offers a critical forum for investigating older modes of cartographic representation as well as newer approaches to big data and the politics of algorithmic and other data-driven processes.
Investigates relations between policing (narrowly and broadly understood), incarceration, and the production of space and spatial knowledge. Borders, criminalized neighborhoods, detention centers, heavily securitized areas, internment camps, jails, prisons, rendition sites, and the spatial relations that they rely on and produce are explored as sites of power and subversion.