Widely recognized as a groundbreaking text, The New Urban Sociology is a broad and expert introduction to urban sociology that is both relevant and accessible to students. Organized around an integrated paradigm, the sociospatial perspective, this text examines the role played by social factors such as race, class, gender, lifestyle, economics, and culture on the development of metropolitan areas, and integrates social, ecological, and political economy perspectives and research into this study. With its unique perspective, concise history of urban life, clear summary of urban social theory, and attention to the impact of culture on urban development, this book gives students a cohesive conceptual framework for understanding cities and urban life.
The sixth edition of The New Urban Sociology is a major overhaul and expansion of the previous editions. This edition is packed with new material including an expansion of the sociospatial approach to include the primary importance of racism in the formation of the urban landscape, the spatial aspects of urban social problems, including the issues surrounding urban public health and affordable housing, and a brand new chapter on urban social movements. There is also new material on the importance of space for social groups, including immigrants and the LGBTQ community, as well as the gendered meanings embedded in social space.
World Cities Report 2022: Envisaging the Future of Cities seeks to provide greater clarity and insights into the future of cities based on existing trends, challenges and opportunities, as well as disruptive conditions, including the valuable lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggest ways that cities can be better prepared to address a wide range of shocks and transition to sustainable urban futures. The Report proposes a state of informed preparedness that provides us with the opportunity to anticipate change, correct the course of action and become more knowledgeable of the different scenarios or possibilities that the future of cities offers.
While the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the two years between editions of the World Cities Report and upended many aspects of urban life, this Report comes at a time when world events create ever more dynamic environments for urban actors. Although of the world has lifted the public health restrictions and border closures that made COVID-19 such a dominant aspect of urban life, the virus continues to flare up periodically and some countries still have strict measures in place. Recently, the world has witnessed a sudden global spike in inflation and cost of living, alongside supply chain disruptions, which is severely affecting the recovery of urban economies. New and persistent armed conflicts have altered the geopolitical order and contributed to global economic uncertainty.
Cities are complex systems that grow, develop and even shrink based on a variety of forces. Planning is an essential tool for shaping the future of cities, as unplanned human settlements are prone to sprawl, inefficient land use, poor connectivity and a lack of adequate municipal services. Good urban planning is one of the three pillars of sustainable cities, without which cities are unlikely to achieve the optimistic scenario of urban futures.
As history attests, the resilience and scalability of cities is undergirded by effective public health. Beyond hospitals, medicines and vaccines, equitable provision of health-promoting infrastructure such as green spaces, improved housing, clean and safe drinking water, and extensive sewer systems to safely dispose of human waste are necessary minimum components for securing public health in urban areas. While COVID-19 led to the first major global pandemic in a century, the future portends more epidemics and pandemics. Public health is now once again at the forefront in envisioning the future of cities.
5.In six of the most disruptive conflicts currently waging in the world today, major cities have been active battlegrounds leading to immediate and long-term devastating impacts on urban health and future development.
Advances in technology and urban futures are inextricably linked. The future of cities will be knowledge-based, driven largely by innovation and the widespread use of new technologies and digitization of virtually all facets of urban life. Technological innovations define the twenty-first century. Cities are going through a wave of digitalization that is reshaping how urban dwellers live, work, learn and play. Technology holds great promise for improving urban livelihoods, but there are also risks that smart city technology will invade privacy. Cities, meanwhile, are competing for innovation-based businesses in a race that will create both winners and losers in urban futures.
Any scenario of urban futures outlined in this Report will face unexpected shocks and stresses. Will a given city collapse like a house of cards or withstand whatever unpredictable future comes their way The answer to that question lies in a city's resilience, a capacity that bookends all of the discussion up to this point. A key message running through this Report is that building economic, social and environmental resilience, including appropriate governance and institutional structures must be at the heart of the future of cities. Cities that are well-planned, managed, and financed have a strong foundation to prepare for such unknown future threats. Moreover, cities that are socially inclusive and work for all their residents are also better positioned to face environmental, public health, economic, social and any other variety of shock or stress, as cities are only as strong as their weakest link.
In a technology-centric smart city, self-driving cars have the run of downtown and force out pedestrians, civic engagement is limited to requesting services through an app, police use algorithms to justify and perpetuate racist practices, and governments and private companies surveil public space to control behavior. Green describes smart city efforts gone wrong but also smart enough alternatives, attainable with the help of technology but not reducible to technology: a livable city, a democratic city, a just city, a responsible city, and an innovative city. By recognizing the complexity of urban life rather than merely seeing the city as something to optimize, these Smart Enough Cities successfully incorporate technology into a holistic vision of justice and equity.
Sidewalks play a vital role in city life. As conduits for pedestrian movement and access, they enhance connectivity and promote walking. As public spaces, sidewalks serve as the front steps to the city, activating streets socially and economically. Safe, accessible, and well-maintained sidewalks are a fundamental and necessary investment for cities, and have been found to enhance general public health and maximize social capital.
While actions or initiatives under the banner of tactical urbanism have consumed much of recent professional and academic discourses, other forms and manifestations of guerrilla urban actions have continued to flourish in cities and places around the world. One may argue that the number of interventions branded under tactical urbanism is most likely minute compared with the actual unsanctioned and unscripted activities performed by the subaltern and underprivileged in their everyday struggles for livelihood. In light of their sheer magnitude and collective significance, how can we better understand these guerrilla struggles as a form of contention and spatial practices Through what ways do they challenge or circumvent the dominant or oppressive structure in the society and the built environment Where do they intersect with the practices of urban design Or, how can we view them perhaps as a form of insurgent practices in urban design
Urban design, or more broadly the making of cities and urban places, is a field of practices that involve and impact a wide variety of actors and processes, some formal and some not. From institutional actors to communities and individuals, from planning, design, development, and management to everyday uses and adaptations by the public, urban design resides in a complex sphere of actions and reactions with no clear boundaries or absolute beginnings and ends, contrary to its common perception as a professional practice with well-defined parameters. Understanding the significance and characteristics of unsanctioned and unscripted spatial practices is an important step in comprehending the full complexity of these processes. At the epistemological level, such understanding allows us to critique practices of urban design as a profession. At the practical level, a stronger understanding allows us to better engage, respond to, and even leverage these insurgent practices for transformative outcomes. For citizens and communities at large, a better understanding of the significance of unsanctioned and unscripted actions would allow them to become aware of their capacity and agency in shaping the built environments, including the way those environments are used, received, and experienced. Whether agonistic or affective, it is through these unscripted processes of engagement that possibilities for change in the urban environments can become open and malleable. It might be useful to add that for a profession long influenced and informed by the work of Jane Jacobs and William H. Whyte, it should not be hard to understand the implications of such unsanctioned and unscripted urban spatial practices.
Lastly, it is important to understand that as urban design becomes a part of the system that serves the forces of speculative redevelopment, gentrification, and exclusion, the unsanctioned and unscripted can be seen as a form of resistance, as insurgent acts against the accepted norms and politico-economic hegemony. Guerrilla urbanism in this light represents the contention and contestation in urban life and the struggles of the oppressed. The unsanctioned and unscripted can be simultaneously tools of survival as well as actions by those seeking alternatives to the current systems and practices. They highlight specific contentions and challenges as well as opportunities facing communities and places. They manifest the agency and power of individuals and collectives in resisting as well as constructing alternative futures. This special issue is intended to be a step forward in producing the knowledge necessary for us to critically examine the processes of contention and contestation and the respective roles of formal and informal actors. While the investigation here may stop short of providing and articulating the normative steps for engaging in the continued contention and contestation, this introductory article outlines a few reflections on the specific characteristics and processes that may inform future actions. 153554b96e