Cities: Reimagining the Urban by Nigel Thrift, Ash Amin

By Nigel Thrift, Ash Amin

This ebook develops a clean and not easy standpoint at the urban. Drawing on a large and numerous variety of fabric and texts, it argues that an excessive amount of modern city concept relies on nostalgia for a humane, face-to-face and bounded urban. Amin and Thrift keep that the normal divide among town and the remainder of the area has been perforated via city encroachment, the thickening of the hyperlinks among the 2, and urbanization as a fashion of life.

They define an leading edge sociology of the town that scatters city lifestyles alongside a sequence of web sites and circulations, reinstating formerly suppressed parts of up to date city lifestyles: from the presence of non-human task to the centrality of far-off connections. the results of this point of view are traced via a chain of chapters on strength, financial system and democracy.

This concise and available ebook may be of curiosity to scholars and students in sociology, geography, city stories, cultural reviews and politics.

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Extra info for Cities: Reimagining the Urban

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The link between localization and economic performance was no longer seen as necessarily virtuous. A further push came from the rise of Marxist and Weberian thinking keen to replace the earlier spatial fetishism with an analysis of cities in the context of the varied and uneven geography of the capitalist economy. Thus, famously, Manuel Castells (1977) and David Harvey (1985) explored the link between urbanization and capital accumulation, by emphasizing, for example, the role of capital sunk in the built environ­ ment, while Doreen Massey (1984) highlighted patterns of urban change associated with developments in the capitalist division of labour (for instance, the internationalization of production in the hands of large corporations).

Economic life conducted at a distance owing to the rise of electronic space. While the rise of telematics does not represent the end of older forms of technological and human communication, or the dematerialization of the city into a space of bits and flows (see Thrift 1996a), the significance of a new electronically mediated time-space should not be missed. now CITIES A S SITES 67 urban space is not a space and time that contains action, but an inter­ active, real-time cityscape' (2000: 303). The con­ nections involve meanings of significance that are no less authentic, no less intimate than proximate or face-to-face links within the city (Graham 1997).

These are connections of intense interaction, and not dependent on local face-to-face contact alone (see chapter 2). It is this very geography of interpersonal relations through mediated communications and travel that has freed the knowledge entre­ preneur/worker from the 'tyranny of proximity' in chasing business oppor­ tunity. How else do we explain the explosion of business travel, so evident from the congestion of briefcase-clutching travellers demanding ever more flights and trains from continuously enlarged airports and railway stations (five London airports shift more than 100 million passengers a year Barley 2000) ?

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