Being public is essential to social and political life. Political counterpublics, including the growing “climate public” and “mutual aid public,” will be part of any just post-Coronavirus future. As the crisis continues, they are building themselves through various spaces and spatialities of publicness.
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 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.
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.
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.
Like "The Arcades Project", both Goldsmith’s and Benjamin’s New York texts are made up of vast accumulations of fragmentary quotes and citations that cumulatively enact a physiognomy of the city. In this sense, they are citational in both form and content: not only does their content consist almost solely of quotation, but this form is itself a citation of Benjamin’s book on Paris.
When I set out to write my article, "Indignation and Inclusion: Activism, difference, and emergent urban politics in postcrash Madrid," Ahora Madrid was in its infancy. As an addendum to this piece, I want to emphasize two ideas. One is contextual and historical, while the other is perhaps an orientation for future research and the role of scholars in articulating the horizons of possibility for radical democratic praxis.
This book is not simply about “squatting” in Berlin. Rather, it is a masterful exercise in geography: the careful tracing and detailed writing of histories, events, bodies, materialities and atmospheres and of their nuanced capacities, debris, and paths.
By couching human shielding, IHL effectively does two things: on the one hand, it prohibits the transformation of civilians into human shields, while, on the other, it allows military forces to attack targets that are protected by human shields (provided they abide by the principle of proportionality), thus combining the prohibition of using human shields with the legality of killing them.
Oxford Street is based on more than a decade of research in the field, during which Quayson studied the histories of colonial and postcolonial town planning and the marks of transnationalism. These include sights, sounds, and spatial interactions in Accra’s urban street life. As the reader is taken on a compelling journey through tro-tro slogans, billboard advertisements, salsa scenes, and gym culture, s/he is invited to go beyond the superficial spatial cues of this seemingly typical African urban street.
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. The following essays, edited by Brent Sturlaugson, join this interdisciplinary effort to catalogue the different forms of critical spatial practice at work in the contemporary built environment.
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.