If there is something to be cared for in this renewed space of emergency, that thing is not just at the level of individual practice or help the ‘collective,’ but concerns imagining an undisciplined politics of inhabitation, that is, a politics that finds in limited control and circulations ways to counter-do austere fixtures.
The people’s willingness to protest at their nearby metro station in Santiago on the first day of the uprising, and their continued unwillingness to return to “normal” in weeks since, led to the creation of popular assemblies and active participation in the protests downtown; a new form of popular power.
The recent work of Robert Beauregard, Laura Lieto and colleagues is at the forefront of attempts at reformulating planning theory around assemblage thinking and the new materialist, post-structuralist and post-humanist thrust it comes with.
While flood risk management in Jakarta has effectively become a tool to dispossess the urban poor, evictees have not gone down without a fight. Working alongside activists and urban poor NGOs, these communities have organized to challenge state-driven displacement and resettlement, and to stake claims to land that are often not recognized by the state.
This text begins from a central question: what is a critical spatial practice in a contemporary moment marked by planetary breakdown, by the increasingly visible presence of climate change across a number of different scales, by the sense of a future and present gone violently awry?
This essay explores the concept of critical spatial practice in the context of climate change adaptation: specifically, how can we integrate criticality into ‘resilient design’? Notions of the strategic and the tactical – and what lies between the two – help provide one frame for how those involved in spatial design practice might approach the complexities of adapting to climate change.
In this paper, a brief inquiry is made into the historical relationship between critical spatial practice and the design of privately-owned public spaces (POPOS) using the case of San Francisco’s South of Market District. The empirical case of San Francisco and the design of its South of Market District is useful as a unique individualizing comparison, a well-documented and extreme spatial manifestation of global urban processes.
AbdouMaliq Simone is an urbanist whose work explores the spatial and social compositions of urban regions, the production of everyday life for urban majorities, and the lives of Muslim working-class residents.
As we write, New York City counts over 62,000 homeless people on the street and in the shelter, a number that may well be short of a more accurate figure. Our city has a right to shelter, but not a right to housing, and there is a critical difference at play between the two: Shelter only removes the visible fact of homelessness from view, while doing little to change the material circumstances.
Asher Ghertner continues his work as a creative and profound scholar with his first monograph, "Rule by Aesthetics: World-Class City Making in Delhi". This book is a great read yet also manages to be impressively detailed in its data and textured in its ethnographic feel. Ghertner proves particularly agile in his movement among sites in Delhi as well as among concepts and modes of academic engagement, shifting from exposition and explication to conceptual development and back again.
"Seeing Like a City" is a testament to the evolution of Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift’s urban thinking. This book is about doing urban theory without the safety net of established narratives, in the hopes of grasping new viewpoints from which to see the urban corners, patchworks, and dynamics that are either over-simplified or utterly dismissed by mainstream scholarship.
The barrier directly arrests movement and denies circulation, making visible what Doreen Massey refers to as “power geometries”: the physical and institutional structures allowing movement and access for some but not for others. On the inside of the fence there is the spatial compression of world leaders discussing those they govern inside anonymous convention center rooms and multinational hotels, on the outside the governed are held static by the fence’s physical structure.
This book is condensed and challenging, and it is a must-read for scholars, professionals, and urban activists, as it explores not just the well-known work of Agamben that was translated to English, but also some less familiar texts translated and discussed by Boano.
Aware of the limitations of previous strategies of social control, bourgeois reform appropriated many of the aforementioned proposals and reframed them in its own agenda a few decades after the inception of Central Park, creating more dynamic but closely monitored small parks and playgrounds in working-class neighborhoods, in New York City and across the US. A more nuanced elucidation of the problematic agency of design, therefore, is needed.
Rather than defining a priori what and where the margin is, the book’s essential task is to rethink processes of marginalization through the lived experiences and contexts in which they unfold. The book pushes assemblage thinking’s most important contribution, exactly this attention towards the constant shifts within the making and re-making of marginality.
Originally developed in relation to the work of artists and architects (Rendell 2006, 2011, 2012; see also Liggett and Perry, 1995), critical spatial practice has since expanded to include discourse among designers, geographers, planners, landscape architects, activists, and philosophers.
In this well-written and accessible book, Sam Stein explains the role of the state in creating gentrification. In popular discourse, gentrification has often been seen as a “private” phenomena.
This book forum grew out of an “author meets critics” session at the April 2018 meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Lisa Bates, Nate Gabriel, Stephen Healy, and Heather McLean all responded to the book there, raising important questions about feminist theory, black feminist theory, theorizing capitalism, and the utility of the idea of the commons.
This review forum stems from an author-meets-critics session on Austin Zeiderman’s Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá and Nikhil Anand’s Hydraulic City: Water and the Infrastructures of Citizenship in Mumbai. The session was organized by Asher Ghertner and held at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers in Boston, MA. The forum includes reviews by Malini Ranganathan, Diane Davis, and AbdouMaliq Simone, with an introduction by Asher Ghertner and responses from the authors.
Building upon notions of extended urbanization, the essay reflects on the sensory implications of what it means when urbanization becomes extensive, i.e. when decision-making is subject to a multiplicity of forces that make coherent narratives about what is taking place problematic, while “extending” an enlarged field of opportunities as well as constraints for individual livelihoods.
The city as sanctuary is an ancient concept. As a modern practice in North America and Europe, it has entailed refuge for subjects rendered illegal and placeless by the state, be it asylum-seekers or undocumented immigrants.
Critical commentaries have often treated the smart city as a potentially problematic ‘top down’ tendency within policy-making and urban planning, which appears to serve the interests of already powerful corporate and political actors. This article, however, positions the smart city as significant in its implicit rejection of the strong normativity of traditional technologies of planning, in favour of an ontology of efficiency and emergence.
This article responds to both ongoing urban practices and strands of urban theory by arguing for a (re-)turn to the everyday as a means of thinking about antagonism and political possibility.
The paper focuses on various spatial conjunctures, exploring their emergence and the immanent potentials for radical spatial politics they afford and preclude. In particular, the paper provides a detailed reading of the complex role Buenos Aires’ ‘informal’ settlements play in both perpetuating and resisting a neoliberal, financially extractive economy.
This paper pays attention to the immense and febrile field of digital image files which picture the smart city as they circulate on the social media platform Twitter.
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.