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International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Impact factor: 1.543 5-Year impact factor: 2.056 Print ISSN: 0309-1317 Online ISSN: 1468-2427 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subjects: Geography, Planning & Development, Urban Studies

Most recent papers:

  • Fragmentation in Urban Movements: The Role of Urban Planning Processes.
    Esin Özdemir, Ayda Eraydin.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 02, 2017
    Urban plans and projects that aim to initiate the redevelopment and gentrification of urban areas create social and ecological pressures on urban environments and thereby stimulate urban movements. These movements have a lifespan, which evolves in interaction with planning authorities under local or central governments and may be marked by institutionalization and co‐optation, as well as fragmentation among the people involved in them. Fragmentations are usually based on conflicting individual and collective interests, but may also be the result of different political perspectives in groups. This article is based on a case study conducted in two adjacent gecekondu neighbourhoods of Istanbul, Gülsuyu and Gülensu, where urban politics have played an important role in efforts to resist plans for urban transformation. It shows that fragmentations are very likely to occur in urban movements during planning processes in a neoliberal era, owing to the different perspectives in the movement on what the just city is.
    October 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12516   open full text
  • Spaces of the Expelled as Spaces of the Urban Commons? Analysing the Re‐emergence of Squatting Initiatives in Rome.
    Cesare Di Feliciantonio.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 02, 2017
    Asserting the need to acknowledge the role of the current crisis and austerity politics in fostering the re‐emergence of squatting initiatives in Rome, this article brings together the literature on squatting as an urban social movement, notably Martínez López's holistic approach, with a political economy perspective analysing the current stage of ‘late neoliberalism’. In so doing, I use the conceptualization of ‘expulsions’ developed by Sassen to show how emerging squatting initiatives in Rome represent the ‘spaces of the expelled’. Focusing on the case of Communia in San Lorenzo neighbourhood, the article shows how Martínez López's approach is able to account for the rapid success and support enjoyed by Communia, going as it does beyond the ‘single‐issue’ perspective that has dominated much of the squatting literature. Indeed, the main claims addressed by Communia activists concern a plurality of issues grouped around the concept of urban commons, as both a practice and a goal. Methodologically, the article is the result of 18 months of fieldwork based on an activist/participatory action research (PAR) approach, comprising participant observation/observant participation, in‐depth interviews and questionnaires.
    October 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12513   open full text
  • Killing the Regional Leviathan? Deinstitutionalization and Stickiness of Regions.
    Kaj Zimmerbauer, Sulevi Riukulehto, Timo Suutari.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 22, 2017
    This article focuses on the experiences of debordering and deinstitutionalization of regions. It approaches territories as processes and borders as multilayered social constructs. The article utilizes some key ideas on institutionalization and sees regions as ‘Leviathans’ that are entities ‘thick with things’, both human and nonhuman. Through 10 focus group discussions, the article discusses the sense of belonging and how a region ‘holds onto’ both human and nonhuman actants even after it loses its status in the legitimate regional structure. Due to this stickiness, it concludes that deinstitutionalization is never complete in a sense that all regional consciousness would disappear entirely. After their administrative status is removed, regions remain in a state of in betweenness: not quite fully existing, not quite fully extinct. This makes the concept of deinstitutionalization highly contested and one that eludes easy definitions. However, it is useful to understand deinstitutionalization as a process that turns regions into palimpsests or sets of assemblages that vary in time. Relatedly, regions that are officially deinstitutionalized can endure in ‘penumbral’ form, and can remain meaningful for their inhabitants for a long time.
    September 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12547   open full text
  • Real Geographies, Real Economies and Soft Spatial Imaginaries: Creating a ‘More than Manchester’ Region.
    Stephen Hincks, Iain Deas, Graham Haughton.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 22, 2017
    This article develops a framework for analysing region‐building processes as spatiotemporal constructs, involving competing spatial imaginaries and attempts at consolidating these through institution building. Central here is the performative role of what we refer to as ‘soft space imaginaries’ in the ‘phased’ building of regions for planning and economic development over time. We demonstrate how this understanding can be used to examine the phased enactment of successive waves of region‐building by tracing the evolution of multiple soft spatial imaginaries in north‐west England. The analysis exposes the variable logics, alliances of actors, and tactics used to build momentum and secure legitimacy around preferred imaginaries which advocates often promoted on the grounds that they somehow reflected ‘real geographies’ or ‘real economies’. In this context, soft space imaginaries are seen to play an integral role in intellectual case making about the contemporaneous form and purpose of subnational governance. Yet our analysis also exposes the durability of past soft space imaginaries and their continued impact on efforts to build new soft spaces. What emerges is an understanding of soft space imaginaries as more than just superficial representations. They can help determine where government investment is channelled and into what kinds of policies.
    September 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12514   open full text
  • Is This What The Democratic City Looks Like? Local Democracy, Housing Rights and Homeownership in the Portuguese Context.
    Ana Drago.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 11, 2017
    This article analyses the creation of a normative framework for the democratic city during the regime change in Portugal in 1975—the answers that were given to the question, ‘What should a city be like in a democratic regime?’ While I critically discuss post‐democracy and its use of post‐foundational contributions, I review the post‐revolution Portuguese constitutional debate, contending that the call for democratization brought by urban popular organizations was answered with a political compromise that exchanged expectations of a participatory city for a commitment to a social rights city, enhanced with a promise of homeownership for urban popular segments. In light of this, in this article I question post‐democratic proposals, arguing that when this approach implicitly establishes equivalence between democracy and ‘the political’, it has difficulties in interpreting how the grammar of democracy is ‘organized’ in conflictual and contingent processes of democratic institutionalization. As an alternative, I contend that a critical debate concerning democracy and the urban must address how democratic expectations of emancipation have been translated into institutions and rights through interwoven and situated processes of politicization and depoliticization that allow both politicization of the urban and the production of consent.
    September 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12491   open full text
  • Food Deserts and Real‐Estate‐Led Social Policy.
    Laura Wolf‐Powers.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 14, 2017
    Since the early 2000s in the United States, food deserts—neighborhoods in which households have limited geographic access to full‐service supermarkets or grocery stores— have become conceptually central in public policy research on food security. Analyzing this phenomenon from a ‘policy mobility’ perspective, this article traces the food desert's emergence in policy discourse, locating it within an entrepreneurial social policy paradigm that privileges real estate development over direct economic relief. In the context of property‐led anti‐poverty efforts, the identification and mapping of food deserts catalyzes a logic that leads to subsidy to grocery store development in low‐income areas (or ‘fresh food financing’), while at the same time officials are cutting programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), which directly supplements household food budgets. The article contributes to widening critical discussion of the food desert paradigm and the policy interventions with which it is associated. It calls on urban researchers and practitioners to reframe discussions of food access and nutrition around the shortage of basic income and a need for higher wage floors.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12515   open full text
  • ‘If I Was King Of India I Would Get All The Horns Out Of Cars’: A Qualitative Study of Sound In Delhi.
    Maria Patsarika, Tatjana Schneider, Michael Edwards.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 14, 2017
    In this article we present an experimental sonic space—the mobile noise abatement pod (mNAP)—constructed and used over a two‐week period in Delhi, India, during December 2014. The interdisciplinary project, involving a composer, designer, carpenter, development scholar, filmmaker, graphic designer and sociologist, sought to investigate how noise, including honking (one of the most prevalent sounds in Indian cities), is perceived. The fieldwork reveals noise to be a complex contextual, spatial and personal experience that is as much about habit as it is about identity and class, intimately related to economic inequality and inherently connected to social justice. The article suggests that attempts to reduce levels of noise need to take into account its meaning and position—by whom and how narratives of noise reduction are constructed and reproduced.
    August 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12470   open full text
  • Urban Operating Systems: Diagramming the City.
    Simon Marvin, Andrés Luque‐Ayala.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 20, 2017
    A set of software/hardware packages developed by IT companies for the urban market is transforming the way in which cities are imagined and configured. These urban operating systems (Urban OS) embody important presumptions about what constitutes appropriate knowledge and forms of decision making, pointing to how novel forms of ‘smart' or ‘computational' urbanism may govern urban life. Arguing that an analysis of the interface between the urban and IT requires a broader historical and theoretical perspective, the article traces the ways in which the city has been diagrammed as a space of power since the nineteenth century and highlights the antecedents of Urban OS present across different domains of life—particularly in military and corporate enterprises. Relaying the urban as an efficient logistical enterprise, and operating as a piloting device (Deleuze and Guattari, 1987), the Urban OS appears as an emerging urban diagram introducing an informational diagrammatic of control. We focus on five archetypal framings of how Urban OS envision the city, illustrating how a new corporate rationality of control based on functional simplification and heterogeneous reintegration seeks to take hold in the city (via re‐engineering, agility, modularity, flexibility and configurability).
    June 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12479   open full text
  • Creating Space For Citizenship: The Liminal Politics of Undocumented Activism.
    Thomas Swerts.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 15, 2017
    Since the turn of the century, urban scholars have argued that cities are the sites par excellence where new political subjects are emerging and changing the face of citizenship. Undocumented activism is often invoked as an example of this phenomenon and an object of renewed interest. What remains unclear, however, is how these precarious actors, who are barred from institutional channels for voicing their grievances and who have little access to resources, become political. This article argues that the urban interstices—or the spaces in between legality and illegality, visibility and invisibility and formality and informality—offer strategic opportunities for undocumented activism. I introduce a theoretical understanding of liminal politics that focuses on the spatial and symbolic practices by means of which the undocumented, who find themselves betwixt and between statuses, develop innovative methods of political expression. Based on a multi‐sited ethnography, I demonstrate that undocumented activists craft urban space as a ‘backstage' as well as a ‘frontstage' for their struggles over citizenship. On the one hand, undocumented immigrants build safe spaces in which they can (re)imagine their subjectivities and develop political scripts. On the other hand, they stage and enact these political scripts by appropriating public space. This study therefore highlights the spatiality, theatricality and performativity of emerging forms of urban citizenship.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12480   open full text
  • Breaking With Neoliberalization by Restricting The Housing Market: Novel Urban Policies and the Case of Hamburg.
    Anne Vogelpohl, Tino Buchholz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 15, 2017
    Hamburg currently exemplifies the departure from a straightforward neoliberal urban track. The city's neoliberal path only moved into full swing in the first decade of the 2000s. During this period, urban development was primarily subject to property market mechanisms—with projects being granted to the highest bidder—prompting effects such as rapidly rising rents, deepened social segregation and increased property‐led displacement. Since 2009, however, the city's entrepreneurial urban policy encountered comprehensive resistance movements that eventually led to the rediscovery of a political will for a new housing policy and interventionist policy instruments. This article focuses on the turning point of neoliberal policies and examines the wider scope of the contemporary urban agenda in Hamburg. We first conceptualize potential limits of the neoliberal city in general and then discuss three momentous local policy experiments—the International Building Exhibition, promising ‘improvement without displacement'; the rediscovery of housing regulations through the ‘Social Preservation Statute'; and the ‘Alliance for Housing', aiming to tackle the housing shortage. We discuss these approaches as funding, regulation, and actor‐based approaches to limiting the neoliberal city.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12490   open full text
  • Using the Past to Construct Territorial Identities in Regional Planning: The Case of Mälardalen, Sweden.
    Luciane Aguiar Borges.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 15, 2017
    This study examines how the past is used in the construction of regional identity narratives in policy discourses and documents. Despite assumptions that regional identity is based on shared culture, some authors argue that new forms of regional identity have emerged as the consequence of regions’ involvement in wider networks. Identity has been pursued as an asset to regional attractiveness and economic growth and, as such, is shaped by regional development strategies concerning particular social groups. Socially shared representations of the past through history, cultural heritage and collective memory play an important role in this process, since the past is a powerful resource that may be used to construct images of places, legitimizing claims on territories. Document analysis and interviews with planners are used to analyse strategies for regional development in five counties located in the Mälardalen region, Sweden. This study shows that regional strategies are guided by narratives framing regions from an exclusive outside perspective, leaving internal qualities unnoticed. The past is used to structure these narratives and construct identities that serve economic growth rather than the integration of the plural heritages of the region.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12481   open full text
  • A Socio‐Technical Perspective To The Right To The City: Regularizing Electricity Access in Rio de Janeiro's Favelas.
    Francesca Pilo'.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 15, 2017
    This article takes the contemporary transformation in electricity access in Rio de Janeiro's favelas as a starting point for a broader review of the relationship between the right to the city in informal settlements and the neoliberalization of the electricity service (introduction of full cost recovery and ‘the user pays' principle). It examines the socio‐technical process through which contractual customer relationships have been established or restored through regularization of the electricity service in two favelas, namely, the installation of meters and networks. I suggest that applying a science and technology study perspective to the right to the city helps explore both the materiality and the spatial dimension of power and politics and, in so doing, provides an insight into some of the forms of mediation that help reshape recognition, urban practices and the favela dwellers' position within such an essential service. Our analysis shows how the means of recognizing these city dwellers ‘by the network' are materially and symbolically reshaped by commercial processes. The question then is whether this right to the city, which is being reshaped by commercial processes, will be the source of new inequalities or new politicizations.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12489   open full text
  • When Social Infrastructure Deficits Create Displacement Pressures: Inner City Schools and the Suburbanization of Families in Melbourne.
    Megan Nethercote.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 15, 2017
    Under advanced capitalism, gentrification converges with the post‐Keynesian ‘unhinging' of the state from the project of social reproduction, including its responsibilities for collective consumption (e.g. housing, schools). Gentrification research scrutinizes this convergence through the ongoing assault on social/affordable housing, and yet anaemic housing welfare is not its endpoint. The social contract is further fractured through the ongoing discreditation and dismantling of the full gamut of legacies of the publicly regulated Keynesian inner city, including essential social infrastructure. Focusing on public schools, as an essential site for social reproduction, this article explores how the struggle for the city under neoliberal gentrification may be emerging along additional (non‐housing) vectors. Based on a qualitative study of families' experiences of poor public education provision in central Melbourne (Australia), this article argues that the exclusionary effects of gentrification likely exceed residential encroachment as state subsidization of residents continues to yield to the subsidization of capital. In particular, this article identifies life‐stage specific, infrastructure‐related displacement pressures wrought by a state failure to provide adequate public primary schools in the ‘regeneration' of central Melbourne, and it illustrates how these pressures prompt housing strategies that unevenly divest families of the locational advantages secured in the inner city. Highlighting the role of public school deficits in the reluctant suburbanization of lesser‐resourced families assists in foregrounding state complicity in displacement dynamics and the potential for these to magnify socio‐economic, gendered and socio‐spatial inequalities across the city.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12509   open full text
  • Sisyphean Dilemmas of Development: Contrasting Urban Infrastructure and Fiscal Policy Trends in Maputo, Mozambique.
    Gabriella Y. Carolini.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 13, 2017
    In sub‐Saharan African (SSA) cities like Maputo, land commodification is predictably fueled by plans for aspirational infrastructure serving elites. What is rather more peculiar, however, is the way in which the promotion of some fiscal policy reforms can also inadvertently support land commodification and the uneven development it (re)produces. This article describes how efforts to host both democratic fiscal reforms (via localized exercises like participatory budgeting) and to tap into international capital circuits to stir economic development (via aspirational infrastructure and urban redevelopment plans) can produce a Sisyphean dilemma. While gains in ordinary infrastructure investments (e.g. wells, water pumps) were achieved democratically in Maputo's KaTembe district with the participatory budget, these material (and political) improvements have been rendered irrelevant by better funded aspirational infrastructure projects for KaTembe (e.g. bridges, high‐rise residential buildings, tourist facilities) supported by more opaque decisions made by the national government without residential input. Given the wide embrace of participatory budgeting in contexts of weak democracy across SSA cities and elsewhere, Maputo's experience serves as a timely alert of the risks run when this popular exercise is prematurely promoted, especially when wider‐scaled property tax reforms could better redress uneven and undemocratic urban development.
    June 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12500   open full text
  • Negotiating the Politics of Exclusion: Georges Candilis, Housing and the Kuwaiti Welfare State.
    Asseel Al‐Ragam.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 08, 2017
    In the early stages of welfare planning, the Kuwaiti state restricted equal access to its housing programs in neighborhoods outside the city. The subsequent demographic shift, caused by a Kuwaiti exodus to the ‘suburbs' and non‐Kuwaiti urban labor migration, prompted calls for housing schemes to encourage city living for citizens. Georges Candilis's proposal for a residential neighborhood in Kuwait City emerged from this context. This article examining Candilis's unrealized project also offers a critical perspective on Kuwait's unbalanced housing policies. From this analysis, it draws observations on the role of architects and their limited impact on policies established by decision‐making networks within the welfare state. Seen from this perspective, the Candilis project bears witness to broader socio‐economic agendas that privileged some groups while marginalizing or excluding others.
    June 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12456   open full text
  • Idioms of Accumulation: Corporate Accumulation by Dispossession in Urban Zimbabwe.
    Beacon Mbiba.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 31, 2017
    David Harvey's notion of ‘accumulation by dispossession' has inspired a wide range of studies in different places. But it has hardly registered in the area of urban land grabbing in Africa and what the role of local capital has been in these processes. In this article, I use archival data, field observations and insights from key informant interviews in Harare to examine how the 1990s neoliberalism and the post‐1999 Zimbabwe crisis created new opportunities for accumulation of wealth through the irregular and fraudulent transfer of public urban land into private hands, including those of reputable corporate institutions. I provide a summary of the literature on contemporary land grabbing, raising questions about and providing new insights for a comparative understanding of the transformative role and nature of the state, postcolonial African cities, anti‐capitalist struggles, and the status and meaning of planning in different settings.
    May 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12468   open full text
  • Financing China's Suburbanization: Capital Accumulation through Suburban Land Development in Hangzhou.
    Yong Liu, Wenze Yue, Peilei Fan, Yi Peng, Zhengtao Zhang.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 26, 2017
    China's rapid urbanization has resulted in substantial suburbanization over recent decades. However, limited research has been conducted into how land‐based capital is mobilized, accumulated and circulated within the circuits of the capital accumulation process, or how land‐based capital is used to finance massive investment in suburbanization by China's local governments, especially since the trend in land commodification during the 2000s. We examined the capital switching experience in the city of Hangzhou and our findings indicate that local governments have attempted to simultaneously strengthen housing development and industrial growth. In contrast to experiences of suburbanization in Western countries, a real estate boom during the early days of suburbanization in Hangzhou was not necessarily the result of diversion of excess capital from over‐accumulated investments in the manufacturing industry. Rather, it was a consequence of capital accumulation facilitated by land‐reserve systems and land‐based financing of infrastructure orchestrated by local government. Local governments and their affiliated land‐reserve centers and local investment platforms have acted as entrepreneurs by using profits from suburban property development to subsidize industrial investments and fund the infrastructure‐supported expansion of outer suburbs. These findings highlight the potential risks of land‐centered accumulation and provide important reflections upon the theory of David Harvey in the context of urban China.
    May 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12454   open full text
  • Family or Money? The False Dilemma in Property Dispossession in Shanghai.
    Yunpeng Zhang.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 13, 2017
    This article examines the lived experiences of property dispossession caused by the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Specifically, it examines the category of the family, which is overlooked in the existing literature, and probes into the political production of family conflicts and breakdowns. It characterizes the prevailing regime of dispossession in contemporary China as decentralized legal authoritarianism and argues that the organization of the Expo‐induced dispossession deviated from this because of the distinctive state structures involved. For this reason, tensions within the state apparatus were temporarily suspended, leading to reduced opportunity for resistance. The state's monopoly of symbolic production rendered contesting claims to property ownership illegitimate and made monetary compensation the only option. This turned confrontation with the state into domestic disputes. Organized as a state‐led project, dispossession also exploited displacees' past experiences of a ‘caring' state or state terror, giving rise to different attitudes towards displacement and thus causing more family disputes. Moreover, mobilization of the entire state apparatus also permitted the use of coercive and violent means without legal and moral concerns. Tactics that manipulated, and in some cases completely severed, relations within and beyond the displaced families are explored in depth. The article concludes with a call to change the ways that dispossession has been conceived and conducted in practice.
    May 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12455   open full text
  • ‘Generation Rent’ and The Fallacy of Choice.
    Kim Mckee, Tom Moore, Adriana Soaita, Joe Crawford.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 04, 2017
    The now widely used term ‘Generation Rent’ reflects the growing phenomenon in the UK of young people living in the private rental sector for longer periods of their lives. Given the importance of leaving home in youth transitions to adulthood, this is a significant change. It is further critical given the rapid expansion of the private rented sector in the UK over recent decades and the more limited rights that private tenants have. This article draws on qualitative evidence to highlight the impact this has on young people's lives, and broader patterns of social‐spatial inequality. Our research highlights that, whilst young people retain long‐term preferences for homeownership, they nonetheless deconstruct this normalized ideal as a ‘fallacy of choice', given its unachievability in reality. Influenced by the work of Foucault, Bourdieu and Bauman, we emphasize how these dominant norms of housing consumption are in tension with objective reality, since young people's ability to become ‘responsible homeowners' is tempered by their material resources and the local housing opportunities available to them. Nonetheless, this does not exempt them from the ‘moral distinctions' being made, wherein renting is problematized and constructed as ‘flawed consumption'. These conceptual arguments advance international scholarly debates about the governance of consumption, offering a novel theoretical lens through which to examine the difficulties facing ‘Generation Rent’.
    May 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12445   open full text
  • The High‐Rise Home: Verticality as Practice in London.
    Richard Baxter.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 02, 2017
    This article investigates the relationship between verticality and home. It develops the idea of ‘verticality as practice'. This appreciates verticality not as something that takes place in three‐dimensional landscapes, but as the outcome of everyday practical activity. Examining a modernist high‐rise estate, the Aylesbury Estate in London, the article identifies and examines a range of vertical practices, illustrating how they are intertwined with home. Vertical practices, such as those associated with the view, help to make a unique and special home, becoming intensely meaningful to residents. However, they also unmake dimensions of home when they interact with the estate's marginality.
    May 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12451   open full text
  • Self‐Organization and Urban Development: Disaggregating the City‐Region, Deconstructing Urbanity in Amsterdam.
    Federico Savini.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. April 22, 2017
    The idea that cities are self‐organizing systems, and that the state has a limited capacity to control and shape them, has gained momentum in the last decade among planning professionals, designers and politicians. Recent political discourse on new localism and liberal individualism builds on a similar understanding of cities, giving responsibility to citizens and their collective associations in light of state rescaling. The consequences of such perspectives for urban development have yet to be conceptualized. This article proposes a critique of the use of self‐organization in policy practice, building on the argument that this concept destabilizes two constitutive categories of urban intervention: spatial boundaries and temporal programmes. In so doing, self‐organization conveys two peculiar understandings of agency in city‐regional spaces and of urbanity: the disaggregation of city‐regions and the deconstruction of urbanity. Looking at the recent change in Amsterdam's urban development practice, I show that, while self‐organization is used to emphasize that city‐regions constitute interconnected systems of dynamics, when applied in policymaking it in fact leads to the disaggregation and fragmentation of urban regions. Moreover, while the capacity of self‐organization to deconstruct codified notions of urbanity that frustrate urban relations is often celebrated, its use in policy produces newly exclusive urban fabrics.
    April 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12469   open full text
  • Experimental Infrastructure: Experiences in Bicycling in Quito, Ecuador.
    Julie Gamble.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 29, 2017
    Bicycling infrastructure has flourished across Latin American cities as urban activists who cycle have pressed municipalities to grant space on the streets. This article analyzes the ways urban cyclists use and create bicycling infrastructure in the city of Quito, Ecuador. It uses an ethnographic approach to understand how infrastructure is systematically produced through various relationships with human actors and non‐human phenomena. The article starts from the perspective of the ethnographer moving within the assemblage of the feminist bicycle collective Carishina en Bici. The ethnographer drew on feminist science and technology studies (STS) approaches to cultivate everyday relationships of ‘care' to become a moving part of an infrastructural assemblage. The study of infrastructure entails carefully choosing research relationships that result in intra‐action, or the coming together of the subjects and objects of a study to produce infrastructure. The article uses the term experimental infrastructure to reveal the procedures of studying and analyzing the political dynamics that result from bicycling infrastructure. It draws on 15 months of fieldwork in Quito, Ecuador, and participatory photo travel diaries of cyclists to demonstrate how bicycling infrastructure is a point of intersection as well as an active site for making democratic claims to the Andean city.
    March 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12449   open full text
  • How to Mend a Fragmented City: a Critique of ‘Infrastructural Solidarity'.
    Laura Cesafsky.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 28, 2017
    Cities in Latin America in particular have been investing in new transportation networks such as bicycle systems, metros and bus rapid transit (BRT) technologies in recent years. These infrastructures are promoted as cures for trenchant social and spatial divisions as much as for traffic gridlock and vehicular pollution. This article unpacks the theory that infrastructures might mend cities that have been fragmented into disparate parts by uneven capitalist development. I argue that this ‘infrastructural solidarity' thesis relies on a troubled imagination—shared across urban design and strands of urban theory—that infrastructures are static, formal arrangements that concretize relations and enforce social cohesion or fragmentation. This article draws on qualitative research on the TransMilenio BRT system in Bogotá, Colombia, as well as on the work of Bruno Latour, suggesting that the political life of infrastructure is better revealed when such systems are understood as dense knots of shifting relations with complex temporalities. Arguments for the value of this type of actor‐network theory (ANT) reading often skew towards the esoteric, but the TransMilenio case shows how sorting through infrastructural ontologies actually matters in terms of how urbanists—academic and practicing—conceive of and work towards just and functional cities.
    March 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12447   open full text
  • The Situations of Urban Inquiry: Thinking Problematically about the City.
    Clive Barnett, Gary Bridge.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 25, 2017
    In the context of debates about the epistemological and ontological coherence of concepts of critical urban studies, we argue that urban concepts should be conceptualized problematically. We do so by aligning Michel Foucault's genealogical work on problematization with John Dewey's pragmatist understanding of problem formation and responsiveness. This approach brings into view the degree to which debates about urban futures are shaped by a variety of critical perspectives that extend beyond the academy and activism. We elaborate this argument through examples of global urban policy formation and practices of neighbourhood change. Approaching urban concepts problematically suggests a move away from the idea of critique as a form of scholastic correction towards an appreciation of the contested fields of practice in and through which critical understandings of urban problems emerge.
    March 25, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12452   open full text
  • ‘No Condition IS Permanent': Informal Transport Workers and Labour Precarity in Africa's Largest City.
    Daniel E. Agbiboa.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 20, 2017
    This article pieces together an understanding of everyday life grounded in the social imagination and everyday experiences of informal transport workers (ITWs) in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital and Africa's largest city. The article has two core objectives: to elevate the everyday practices of ITWs to the status of a critical concept in order to advance a sociology of everyday life, and to ground these practices on the precarious rhythm of everyday life as lived by people with the experience of radical uncertainty. By using crisis as a context of action and meaning, the article shows how uncertainty serves as a social resource that ITWs leverage to negotiate the precarious nature of everyday life and to make the most of their time. This foregrounding of uncertainty enhances our hitherto tenuous grasp of labour precarity, informal agency and the everyday struggle for survival in Africa's informal transport sector.
    March 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12440   open full text
  • The Weakness Of Symbolic Boundaries: Handling Exclusion Among Montevideo's Squatters.
    María José Álvarez‐Rivadulla.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 20, 2017
    This article argues that material conditions limit the possibilities of symbolic boundaries becoming markers of social differentiation, especially among stigmatized groups. Using squatter settlements in Montevideo, Uruguay, as a case study, it shows that symbolic boundaries are hard to maintain when material conditions and the stigmas associated with certain places work against them. Based on participant observation and oral histories, it analyses how squatters experienced the move to a squatter settlement. It argues that, for many, it was a way to resist exclusion, a struggle to belong to the city and to protect a social position that structural changes under neoliberalism had put at risk. This required engaging in difficult symbolic boundary work to distinguish themselves from cantegriles—poor and crowded older shantytowns—and claim dignity as workers and residents of a regular city neighbourhood. Yet, there were many limits to their fight in an increasingly fragmented city. Through follow‐up visits to several settlements over almost two decades and tracking the case in the local press, through available survey data and secondary literature, this article offers a longitudinal perspective of symbolic boundaries in the making.
    March 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12450   open full text
  • A Transposition of Territory: Decolonized Perspectives in Current Urban Research.
    Anke Schwarz, Monika Streule.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 06, 2017
    In this article, we discuss the concept of territory from a decolonized perspective. We engage with the ongoing debate on decentralizing urban studies to outline the potential drawbacks of essentializing, generalizing or objectifying the urban. Through the socio‐territorial approach utilized here we seek to address these issues by shifting attention, first, to the social production of territory, and secondly, from an analysis of state strategies to the urban scale. We understand territory as being produced when subjects struggle over the practices, meanings and tenures of urban space. An example from Mexico City is employed to illustrate how territory becomes both the site and stake of social struggle. By focusing on the subjects involved in the production of territory, and on the way different subjects produce and reproduce hegemonic spaces and counter‐spaces, we emphasize three aspects in particular: first, a territory's specific material conditions; secondly, the imaginarios (social imaginaries) various actors inscribe into it; and thirdly, the communal land use form of the ejido as a unique territorial regulation. Finally, we argue for the empirical groundedness of the concept of territory with the aim of further pluralizing the field of urban studies. The socio‐territorial approach we propose explicitly focuses on power relations in the production of both urban space and knowledge.
    March 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12439   open full text
  • Informal Housing in the United States.
    Noah J. Durst, Jake Wegmann.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 06, 2017
    Research on informal housing tends to focus overwhelmingly on less developed countries, downplaying or ignoring entirely the presence of informality in United States housing markets. In actuality, a longstanding and widespread tradition of informal housing exists in the United States but is typically disregarded by scholars. In this article we draw on three definitions of informality—as non‐compliant, non‐enforced, or deregulated economic activity—to characterize examples of informality in US housing markets, focusing in particular on five institutions that govern housing market activity in this country: property rights law, property transfer law, land‐use and zoning, subdivision regulations, and building codes. The cases presented here challenge the notion that informality is absent from US housing markets and highlight the unique nature of informal housing, US style—namely, that informal housing in the US is geographically uneven, largely hidden and typically interwoven within formal markets. We conclude with a discussion of how research on informal housing in the US can inform research in the global South.
    March 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12444   open full text
  • Controlling Mobility and Regulation in Urban Space: Muslim Pilgrims to Mecca in Colonial Bombay, 1880–1914.
    Nick Lombardo.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 24, 2017
    The meanings and practices of space shape how cities are understood and governed. This article argues that space is central to understandings of mobility and practices of regulation in the city. Undertaking an analysis of the regulation of Muslim pilgrims (Hajis) in colonial Bombay (Mumbai) from 1880 to 1914, this article explores urban governance discourses around race, religion and public health at a variety of scales. It investigates the way that Hajis were problematized through these discourses, and targeted as threats to elite power and prosperity in the specific context of Bombay as a global shipping and economic hub. I conclude that elite conceptions of the city shape the governance of problematized bodies in ways which reinforce the meanings and politics of mobility and space. Elite understandings of movement and the city itself shape the practices and targets of urban regulation and control.
    February 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12438   open full text
  • Organizing The Ordinary City: How Labor Reform Strategies Travel to the US Heartland.
    Marc Doussard.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 16, 2017
    In New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, formal alliances between labor unions and community organizations have spurred successful workplace and policy organizing campaigns. As a result, the institutional form of the community–labor coalition is travelling to smaller, less unionized and more politically conservative cities, where the replication of established organizing strategies must contend with political, economic and institutional differences that often go unnoted. Comparing community–labor alliances in Indianapolis, St. Louis and Chicago, this article identifies heretofore unobserved conditions of possibility for successful urban labor organizing in the US. Compared to smaller cities, Chicago and the large urban areas from which ideal practices are abstracted feature higher levels of union membership, significantly more funding of basic social and neighborhood services, and larger immigrant communities. Operating with minimal human services and limited recourse to the social and institutional networks of immigrant workers, labor coalitions in St. Louis and Indianapolis face recurrent barriers to identifying workplace problems, mobilizing low‐wage workers and sustaining citywide reform campaigns. This indicates geographical limits to the current organizing model and highlights the limitations of urban scholarship derived from large cities unrepresentative of urbanity as a whole.
    February 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12435   open full text
  • China's Emergent City‐Region Governance: A New Form of State Spatial Selectivity through State‐orchestrated Rescaling.
    Fulong Wu.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 12, 2017
    This article examines the emergence of city‐region governance as a specific state spatial selectivity in post‐reform China. The process has been driven by the state in response to the crisis of economic decentralization, and to vicious inter‐city competition and uncoordinated development. As part of the recentralization of state power, the development of urban clusters (chengshiqun) as interconnected city‐regions is now a salient feature of ‘new urbanization' policy. I argue in this article that the Chinese city‐region corresponds to specific logics of scale production. Economic globalization has led to the development of local economies and further created the need to foster ‘regional competitiveness'. To cope with regulatory deficit at the regional level, three mechanisms have been orchestrated by the state: administrative annexation, spatial plan preparation and regional institution building, which reflect recent upscaling in post‐reform governance.
    February 12, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12437   open full text
  • Unseeing Chinatown: Universal Zoning, Planning Abstraction and Space of Difference.
    Napong Tao Rugkhapan.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 07, 2017
    The article investigates the technical rationality behind Bangkok's recent land use zoning plans. It does so through the example of Chinatown. The plans, intended to promote urban sustainability, introduce zoning techniques such as (1) land use subcategorization to hierarchize urban districts, and (2) density zoning to encourage intensive development around transit stations. The case of Chinatown foregrounds the discussion in this article, which then, in turn, explores the two zoning techniques. I argue that both techniques are formulated through a functionalist rationality, and thus omit place‐specific conditions of land, such as local practices, histories and land tenure. Worse yet, the landed elite uses them to justify displacement and eviction. The article theorizes Chinatown as a space of difference, pointing to particularities that are unseen and thus at risk of being unmade by what is often passed off as technical expertise.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12401   open full text
  • Governed Through Ghost Jurisdictions: Municipal Law, Inner Suburbs and Rooming Houses.
    Lisa Freeman.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 07, 2017
    This article examines the legal geography of municipal bylaws regulating rooming houses in the City of Toronto. Using a legal geography analysis of Toronto's rooming house licensing bylaw, I argue that this bylaw is a ghost jurisdiction that designates part of the city as illegal and has implications for governance of the inner suburbs. In so doing, I push the debate on legal geography forward by suggesting that we, as urban scholars, take the temporal seriously in our analysis of space. Drawing from semi‐structured interviews, archival data and participant observation, I analyse seemingly mundane legal mechanisms through the case study of suburban rooming houses. Overall, in this article I make three contributions. First, I demonstrate how a temporal analysis is important to legal geography inquiries of uneven regulation and spaces of poverty. Second, I suggest that studies of legal governance are integral for redefining suburban governance amidst socio‐economic decline in the inner suburbs. Third, I argue that studying urban legal mechanisms in the suburbs is essential for moving beyond downtown analytical frameworks and is needed to address how low‐income suburban tenants, a large majority of whom are racialized newcomers, are unevenly regulated and unfairly governed by local government.
    February 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12441   open full text
  • Beyond a Liberal Critique of ‘Trickle Down': Urban Planning in the City of Malmö.
    Ståle Holgersen, Guy Baeten.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 04, 2017
    This article scrutinizes the much used, but less examined, concept of ‘trickle down' in an urban setting. We make a distinction between the production of and distribution in the city, and argue that trickle down in contemporary urban policy could be regarded as the liberal link between production and distribution. Based on interviews with key figures and document analyses, we look at the transformation of the Swedish city of Malmö from an industrial to a post‐industrial city, where, during the last two decades, we have found three concurrent components: the ideology of trickle down; several urban policy programs and governmental policies to ‘make' money and resources trickle down; as well as increased economic polarization and segregation. A liberal critique of trickle down would argue that market mechanisms cannot by themselves solve distribution, and that government policies therefore are needed. We argue for the need to go beyond a liberal critique of trickle down and stress how unequal distribution is built into the unequal production of the city.
    February 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12446   open full text
  • Toward The Networked City? Translating Technological ideals and Planning Models in Water and Sanitation Systems in Dar es Salaam.
    Jochen Monstadt, Sophie Schramm.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 03, 2017
    One of the most influential ideals for constructing and managing cities and infrastructures worldwide is that of the ‘networked city'. This ideal refers to the technological design and morphology of cities integrated and ordered by infrastructure networks and to a specific model in the operation, use and planning of infrastructures. Engineers, planners and public health officials have aspired to align with this circulating ideal of urban modernity, hygiene and rationalization of nature in (re)producing cities worldwide. Like many cities in the global South, Dar es Salaam cannot be characterized by universal access to centralized water and sewerage networks. While formal institutions, planning documents and strategies reflect significations, as well as organizational and planning models of a networked city, its urban environments are shaped by hybrid arrangements manifesting unequal access to water and sanitation services. We build on postcolonial critique in urban studies and science and technology studies to inquire into this contradiction by addressing the translation of the ideal of the networked city in Dar es Salaam. Our objective is to uncover the negotiations over the translation of this hegemonic model, and to delineate the scope of creativity in reinventing alternative urban modernities that defy simplistic notions of technology transfer.
    February 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12436   open full text
  • The Ecology Of Neighborhood Participation and The Reproduction Of Political Conflict.
    Andrew Deener.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 22, 2016
    Building on three years of participant observation and 30 life‐history interviews with activists in the Los Angeles community of Venice, this article introduces an ecological perspective to examine neighborhood participation and the reproduction of political conflict. As the official local space of community politics, the city‐funded Venice Neighborhood Council has experienced dramatic conflict. Observers have framed the conflict as occurring between liberal and conservative groups. Despite the history of conflict between so‐called ‘groups', the individuals involved are in flux. Venice is a complex arrangement of different neighborhoods and multiple interests. Tensions between long‐term neighborhood affiliations, formal bureaucracy and grassroots organizations affect how activists weigh competing associations embedded in the spatial landscape. The ecology of neighborhood participation underscores that conflict is not an outcome of stable substantive positions, but rather it occurs as the reassembling of overlapping and competing interests over time.
    December 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12434   open full text
  • Spatial Dislocation and Affective Displacement: Youth Perspectives on Gentrification in London.
    Melissa Butcher, Luke Dickens.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 22, 2016
    Analyses of contemporary processes of gentrification have been primarily produced from adult perspectives with little focus on how age affects or mediates urban change. However, in analysing young people's responses to transformations in their neighbourhood we argue that there is evidence for a more complex relationship between ‘gentrifiers' and residents than existing arguments of antagonism or tolerance would suggest. Using a participatory video methodology to document experiences of gentrification in the east London borough of Hackney, we found that young people involved in this study experienced their transforming city through processes of spatial dislocation and affective displacement. The former incorporated a sense of disorientation in the temporal disjunctions of the speed of change, while the latter invoked the embodiment of a sense of not belonging generated within classed and intercultural interactions. However, there are expressions of ambivalence rather than straightforward rejection. Benefits of gentrification were noted, including conditions of alterity and the possibility to transcend normative behaviours that they found uncomfortable. Young people demonstrated the capacity to reimagine their relationship with the complex spaces they call home. The findings suggest a need to reframe debates on gentrification to include a more nuanced understanding of its differential impact on young people.
    December 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12432   open full text
  • Residential Enclosure, Power and Relationality: Rethinking Sociopolitical Relations in Southeast Asian Cities.
    Gabriel Fauveaud.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 22, 2016
    As in many other areas around the globe, enclosed residential spaces have proliferated in Southeast Asia since the 1990s. Recent publications have presented such gated communities as ‘porous enclaves', implying multiple socio‐spatial dynamics of movements through gates and walls. However, the enclave model does not suffice for analyzing the relational dynamics generated by enclosed residential estates. The concept of ‘ecotonal space' and social geography are used to show, in the case of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh, that the enclosure and its borders are producers and products of multiple social, spatial, economic and political relations, both symbolic and material. Property developers assert their position as an emerging elite in the city's society and politics, a process based on different types of everyday relations they have with the inhabitants of their residential estates and territorial institutions. The enclosed residential estate can serve as a resource for deploying new power relations. Consubstantial with the neopatrimonial nature of the Cambodian economy and politics, this process is a response to the opacity and uncertainty of real estate markets and urban development.
    December 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12433   open full text
  • Beyond the Urban–Suburban Divide: Urbanization and the Production of the Urban in Zurich North.
    Rahel Nüssli, Christian Schmid.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 22, 2016
    Starting from current debates on ‘global suburbanism' and ‘postsuburbia', this article explores the changes that the former ‘urban periphery' of Zurich North has experienced in the last three decades. It mobilizes Henri Lefebvre's triadic concept of conceived, perceived and lived space in aid of an analysis of the profound urban transformations that can be observed. The construction of a new tramline serves as a guideline for an analysis of the implementation of new governance arrangements strengthening cross‐border cooperation between individual municipalities and new strategies of cooptation and expertise. This resulted in the production of new urban structures which led to a more densely woven and connected urban fabric primarily providing spaces for the headquarter economy and middle‐class housing. Concomitantly, great efforts have been made to create new public spaces, an urban image and even an urban atmosphere. These have proved at least partially successful, thus promoting a symbolic redefinition of the former urban periphery as a distinctively ‘urban' space. Conventional definitions and concepts no longer suffice to adequately understand such novel urban forms, leading to the conclusion that division into an ‘urban' and a ‘suburban' world is no longer a useful tool for urban analysis.
    December 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12390   open full text
  • The Limits to Artist‐Led Regeneration: Creative Brownfields in the Cities of High Culture.
    Lauren Andres, Oleg Golubchikov.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 26, 2016
    Despite the burgeoning literature on creative cities, seldom explored is the context of cities rich in cultural capital but more orthodox in their approach to preserving the autonomy of culture. This article discusses the status of artistic spaces occupying abandoned industrial premises (‘creative brownfields') in historic cities that traditionally shape their policies around prestigious cultural institutions (‘cities of high culture'). Based on comparative insights from St Petersburg and Lausanne, the article explores the relations and tensions between mainstream cultural governance and creative brownfields. While there is no lack of creative brownfields in these cities, their wider urban impact is found to be marginal; moreover, these sites represent dispersed instances of temporary occupations rather than situated clusters of creative actors. More than coincidental, this (lack of) spatialization is argued to result from a particular governmentality—that of high culture—which disregards, rather than promotes, spaces of alternative cultural governance. The article conceptualizes creative brownfields in cities of high culture as the ‘soft infrastructure' of cultural production, in contrast with those in ‘creative cities' as the ‘hard infrastructure' of urban production. The article also calls for a recognition of the local context of regulation and accumulation in understanding the cultural/urban interplay.
    November 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12412   open full text
  • The Eurozone Crisis and Emerging‐Market Expansion: Capital Switching and the Uneven Geographies of Spanish Urbanization.
    William Kutz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 26, 2016
    The theory of capitalist urbanization posits that the built form serves as a crucial sink through which overaccumulated capital is ‘switched' from industrial production into long‐term investment in urban infrastructure. Since Harvey's (1978) deployment of the theory, researchers have attempted to empirically substantiate the switching thesis with limited success. Christophers (2011) revisited the debate with new data and methods to support the claim that significant investment had switched into the built environment at the onset of the 2007/08 financial crisis. However, Christophers' study overlooks how crises are also geographically displaced. This article analyses Spanish trade data for the years 1993 to 2013, the years prior and subsequent to the housing‐induced economic crisis (1997 to 2006). Two studies are undertaken. The first replicates Christophers' methodology to assess how and to what extent a sectoral switch into property investment occurred in Spain between 1997 and 2006. The second modifies the methodology to investigate the extent to which overaccumulated capital in Spain has been geographically displaced through investment in the Moroccan building industry since 2006. These approaches situate uneven development (geographical switching) and turnover time (sectoral switching) as the twin dynamics through which capitalist urbanization is spatio‐temporally fixed.
    November 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12402   open full text
  • Reappearance of the Public: Placemaking, Minoritization and Resistance in Detroit.
    Alesia Montgomery.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 26, 2016
    Recent studies of public space in US central cities tend to focus either on (1) market‐driven placemaking (privatized parks, hipster shops) in gentrifying enclaves or (2) street cultures (community gardens, hip‐hop) in low‐income neighborhoods. Neither focus adequately frames the ability of African Americans to shape public space as the white middle class returns to central cities. In this case study of downtown Detroit, I theorize a dialectic: the history of clashes between racial capitalism and social movements in public space reappears in the contradictory design of market‐driven placemaking, which suppresses and displays cultures of resistance. White business and real‐estate interests showcase downtown spaces to counter news of disinvestment and suffering in low‐income neighborhoods. The legal and political legacies of civil rights and black power struggles—combined with consumer demand (black culture sells)—force them to involve black entrepreneurs, professionals and artists in placemaking. This placemaking subordinates the black urban poor, even as it incorporates their street cultures. The contradictions of placemaking shape possibilities for resistance, as shown in mundane subversions and street protests that use the downtown spotlight to call for social justice citywide. This analysis contributes to research on public space at a time when new movements are challenging public order in the financial core of US cities.
    November 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12417   open full text
  • Technologies of Translocality: Vegetables, Meat and Dresses in Arab Muslim Detroit.
    Kimberley Kinder.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 11, 2016
    The diversification of US suburbs in terms of race, ethnicity and immigration has created invaluable opportunities for scholars to study technologies of translocality‐in‐the‐making. Translocal landscapes are described as spaces of ‘here' studded with ‘parts of elsewhere' (Allen and Cochrane, )—but which pieces of the landscape count as meaningfully ‘of elsewhere', how do those parts get there, and what range of meanings can they signify? This article is based on qualitative, in‐depth interviews and explores these questions in the context of an Arab Muslim ethnic enclave and retail district in an inner‐ring suburb of Detroit. The findings indicate that ‘parts of elsewhere' are more internally pluralized, multifunctional, multidirectional and aesthetically diverse than commonly recognized. The implications of these findings challenge scholars to develop more robust frameworks to explain how translocal geographies are produced, why they matter, and how they can be recognized.
    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12414   open full text
  • Value at Risk in the Suburbs: Eminent Domain and the Geographical Politics of the US Foreclosure Crisis.
    Christopher Niedt, Brett Christophers.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 11, 2016
    Several US counties and local governments have recently considered a novel solution to the foreclosure crisis. They plan to use eminent domain to compel the owners of mortgage debt—and specifically of private‐label mortgage‐backed securities—to sell the debt to the government at a price reflecting the loan's market value. The government would then restructure the debt and resell it to new investors. The plans are striking because—in contrast to both development‐driven eminent domain and the federal subprime bank bailout—they would force investors to assume asset devaluation and increased long‐term risk. Notably, the plans have emerged as an instance of financialization‐focused politics in suburbs and suburban cities of color, specifically majority‐black and ‐Latino/a suburbs. Local support for the plans, we argue, is rooted in the long‐term disinvestment of these ‘suburbs of exception', which became targets of subprime lending and eventually sites where the ‘financial exception' has been localized. But these demographic shifts, fragmentation and fiscal pressures have at the same time created a suburban political terrain in which the plans have gained their strongest political support.
    November 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12413   open full text
  • Urbanization and the City Image in Lowry at Tate Britain: Towards a Critique of Cultural Cityism.
    Gareth Millington.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 07, 2016
    This article explores cultural cityism at a time when a more expansive, ‘planetary’ urbanization is argued to have superseded ‘the city’ as the dominant urban form. It takes an essentially Lefebvrian problematic and works this through an examination of one aspect of contemporary metropolitan culture, the L.S. Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain, held in the summer of 2013. The article scrutinizes the juxtaposition of Lowry's images of the industrial city with the image of ‘global’, corporate London provided by Tate Britain itself. The exhibition is presented as evidence of Lefebvre's argument that although the urban core has imploded and exploded, through images the city ‘can perpetuate itself, survive its conditions’. Taking stock also of the preponderance of city images in culture more widely, it is argued such images make a fetish of the city, producing also an ‘urban pastoral’ that obscures the defining characteristics of urban life today. Finally, Benjamin's concept of the ‘dialectical image’ and Rancière's notion of the ‘sentence image’ are invoked to capture the flashing together of past and present city images and the opportunities for critical reflection this constellation presents.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12375   open full text
  • Durable Domestic Dreams: Exploring Homes in Estonian Socialist‐era Summerhouse Settlements.
    Mari Nuga, Kadri Leetmaa, Tiit Tammaru.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 07, 2016
    ‘Home’ and the connotations of this term are little understood in the context of post‐socialist Central and Eastern Europe. While modern suburban living was rather unusual in this region under socialism, more and more people live in suburbia today. This article concerns itself with the homes of residents in the former socialist‐era summerhouse settlements in Estonia. Its aim is to further an understanding of the origins and (dis)continuities of the notion of home for individuals living in a post‐socialist environment. This study is based on ethnographic fieldwork. In this article, we present socialist and post‐socialist housing in context and describe how it has been shaped by changes in society. Our findings show that the homes of informants appear to strengthen their sense of freedom, autonomy and stability, while simultaneously inspiring their dreams and imaginations of home.
    November 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12403   open full text
  • Planning in Turbulent Times: Exploring Planners' Agency in Jerusalem.
    Jonathan Rokem, Marco Allegra.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 02, 2016
    This article explores the role of planning in the deeply divided and politically polarized context of Jerusalem. The overall argument developed throughout the article is that the relation between planning and politics is a non‐hierarchical set of interactions, negotiated within specific historical, geographical, legal and cultural contexts—in other words, orders don't come down from the politicians to be slavishly followed by planners. In this respect our findings, based on in‐depth interviews with Israeli planners, suggest that the case of Jerusalem represents a particularly dramatic illustration of the fact that the function of planning expertise can only be understood in relation to the surrounding socio‐political environment. Furthermore, contrary to conventional wisdom, planners in Jerusalem are not destined to either complicity or irrelevance in the face of political imperatives; planners' agency, however, does not simply reflect their mastery of specific professional knowledge and tools, but also their ability to act strategically in relation to the context in which they operate.
    November 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12379   open full text
  • Rethinking Urban Epidemiology: Natures, Networks and Materialities.
    Meike Wolf.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 01, 2016
    How should we understand the relationship between urban environments and infectious diseases? This article addresses this question from three particular perspectives: that of the materialities of health, that of nature and that of networks. The first perspective analytically blends biological dynamics, environmental influence and social practice. The second perspective, mainly influenced by multispecies ethnographies, foregrounds the liveliness and unboundedness of cities. Finally, the third perspective analyses how health is drawn into the domain of security. The article argues that while globalization and urbanization are often discussed as having triggered the emergence and spread of pathogens, urban epidemics are not self‐evident and ‘natural' consequences of these pro‐cesses. They do not fall neatly into universal categories of space, modernity or risk; rather, they are produced and shaped by a range of social, political, biological and economic sites and scales. Accordingly, the emergence of pathogens depends on its articulation through specific analytical frameworks. This article suggests that a critical focus on how infectious diseases manifest themselves differently in different local contexts may not only provide insights into the manifold forms of urban life, but also into the multiple, complex and highly political constitution of health.
    November 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12381   open full text
  • Modernist Ideas and Local Reception: The company towns of Piazzola sul Brenta and Borgonyà, 1895–1930.
    Francesco Visentin.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 31, 2016
    Utopianism, paternalism and the myth of progress were the ideological foundations underpinning company towns. These communities, which sprang up towards the end of the nineteenth century, were dependent on a single company for all or most of the functions and services necessary for town life. This article explores aspects of company town life as variously implemented and received depending on cultural and geographical contexts. In particular, this article examines the emergence of two company towns established during the same period but in two distinct geographical contexts: Piazzola sul Brenta in the Veneto (Italy) and Borgonyà in Catalonia (Spain). While development of these two company towns relied on the same ideals of social and technological progress, the visions of their respective companies, their locations and broader topographical circumstances differed significantly. These new towns are examined through key factors reflecting their owners' and planners' faith in social and technological progress, such as the harnessing of water power, the construction of railways and moral paternalism. These features are analysed by reflecting on the meaning of space in specific contexts. Piazzola sul Brenta and Borgonyà were experimental spaces that their designers and owners used to achieve ephemeral social, political and cultural goals, allowing me to examine both the ways and the spaces in which knowledge and ideas were received, and how different types of knowledge and ideas were transformed and realized.
    October 31, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12389   open full text
  • Trump in Scotland: A Study of Power‐Topologies and Golf Topographies.
    Erik Jönsson.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 28, 2016
    During the last decade Trump International Golf Links Scotland (TIGLS) has built on land where no development was previously outlined and, appropriating parts of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, has come to occupy an important place in debates on Scottish planning policy. Though plans were initially rejected in 2007 by the Aberdeenshire planning body responsible, the Scottish Government subsequently rescaled the decision—instead approving the proposed high‐end, large‐scale golf resort. Besides numerous clashes with those living close to TIGLS, this has since led to highly visible protests. In this article I scrutinize TIGLS's establishment to explore the entanglements of topological and topographic understandings of space, and to illuminate power exerted through various modalities by various private and public actors. Based on interviews with politicians, activists, planners, residents and business representatives and an analysis of planning documents, developer–state communications, and marketing material, I argue that work on power‐topologies and relational geographies has much to offer. But, crucially, this work simultaneously risks underplaying the role material landscapes play in conflicts over planning policy and the power exerted to dominate such landscapes. Thus, emphasizing topology proves insufficient unless coupled with a focus on the power involved in appropriating and reshaping material topographies.
    October 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12391   open full text
  • From Occupation to Recuperation: Property, Politics and Provincialization in Contemporary Madrid.
    Sophie Gonick.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 28, 2016
    Recent debates have once again engaged with the substance and meaning of urban politics within our increasingly complex and startling contemporary landscapes. Yet these debates, while giving nods in the direction of feminist and postcolonial scholarship, largely work through traditional lenses of class, labor and the dynamic workings of neoliberal capitalism. In this article, I focus on spaces of difference and their engagement with the urban to demonstrate how politics ‘happens' in locations often left off the map of both scholarship and popular imaginaries, and, crucially, how those locations can, in fact, illuminate shifting political arrangements elided by other methodologies. By juxtaposing European okupa debates with postcolonial discussions of urban informality, I trace what I argue is a new iteration of squatting within a city both ravaged by edicts of neoliberal austerity and buoyed by the efflorescence of social movements and alternative political projects. I then explicate the role of property in constituting the urban within Spain, using the concept of ‘provincialization'. In doing so, I think relationally between systems of property and emergent forms of insurgency to argue that we are witnessing an anticipatory politics that fundamentally challenges hegemonic relationships between everyday citizens and regimes of property ownership.
    October 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12392   open full text
  • Avoiding the ‘SoHo Effect’ in Baltimore: Neighborhood Revitalization and Arts and Entertainment Districts.
    Meghan Ashlin Rich, William Tsitsos.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 24, 2016
    This article investigates how state‐sponsored ‘arts and cultural districts' and ‘creative placemaking' revitalization strategies affect urban neighborhoods, using the Station North Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District in Baltimore, Maryland (USA) as a case study. Through ethnographic participatory methods and 39 qualitative interviews, we studied the activities and attitudes of various stakeholders within Station North. Since its designation as an arts and entertainment district in 2002, a number of public–private partnerships have helped increase home values in Station North, suggesting that the ‘branding' of Station North has been successful. While the institutions involved in the district, including community development corporations and local universities, are careful to insist that they do not want to displace low‐income residents, many interviewees expressed concerns that these institutions exert influence outweighing that of longtime residents. While a certain level of gentrification has occurred with the arrival of new residents, we argue that the people who are most likely to be displaced from the arts and entertainment district in the future are, paradoxically, artists, especially those who wish to buy homes and settle in the district. After discussing the case of Station North, we consider broader implications of the use of arts for urban revitalization.
    October 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12376   open full text
  • Recentralization as an Alternative to Urban Dispersion: Transformative Planning in a Neoliberal Societal Context.
    Pierre Filion, Anna Kramer, Gary Sands.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 20, 2016
    Growing dissatisfaction with the prevailing dispersed urban form and its generalized reliance on the automobile has resulted in the formulation of planning models seeking to substitute dispersed development with recentralization. A survey of 301 planning documents with a metropolitan focus, originating from the 58 US and Canadian urban regions with a population exceeding one million, reveals widespread support for urban recentralization. But interviews with 55 planners, involved in the preparation of these plans and/or the implementation of their proposals, highlight actual and foreseen barriers to the implementation of recentralization strategies. The article interprets the popularity of recentralization in planning documents as the outcome of planners' attempts to reconcile their commitment to sustainable development with societal factors affecting planning possibilities. Still, we anticipate serious problems in achieving large‐scale recentralization due to urban development path dependencies emanating from the prevailing urban form and dynamics, institutional structures, and from the limited urban transformative potential afforded by neoliberalism.
    October 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12374   open full text
  • Acts of Solidarity: Crossing and Reiterating Israeli–Palestinian Frontiers.
    Alexander Koensler.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 13, 2016
    In academic and public discourse on the Zionist–Palestinian conflict, there still prevails a ‘methodological nationalism’ based on a separatist imagination overshadowing the existence and role of Israeli–Palestinian forms of communality and solidarity. This article analyses micro‐political practices that cross existing frontiers, both within Israel and between the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel. Through recent conceptualizations of ‘acts’, I read these ethnographic episodes in their intentional and performative dimension. What is the role of these ‘acts’? What are their effects, both on participants and the wider public? Through two interconnected cases, different functions of acts are explored. The first case relates to encounters between Israelis and Palestinians in the embattled city of Hebron in the occupied Palestinian territories; the second investigates moments during a Gandhi‐inspired peace march at the ‘internal’ frontier of the Israeli Negev desert. The ethnographic perspective reveals what lies behind and beneath the acts, going beyond the conflict's obvious structures of power. Acts function primarily as a valve of catharsis for the participants themselves, both overcoming and reproducing hegemonic discursive elements of the conflict. Paradoxically, acts of solidarity are often crucial in shaping public knowledge about the conflict in more sectarian terms.
    October 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12380   open full text
  • Institutionalization and Depoliticization of the Right to the City: Changing Scenarios for Radical Social Movements.
    Sergio Belda‐Miquel, Jordi Peris Blanes, Alexandre Frediani.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 13, 2016
    The right to the city, a concept previously associated with radical social movements, has been accepted by several governments and has inspired new public policies. However, some authors see this process of institutionalization as involving a loss of a significant part of the radical origins of the concept. This article approaches this process and the new opportunities and limitations it may entail for social movement organizations with a more radical perspective on the right to the city. We explore the paradigmatic case of Brazil and the action of a particular organization, the Movimento dos Sem Teto da Bahia (MSTB, or Homeless Movement of Bahia) in the city of Salvador. We draw on the discussion of the politics of the right to the city and on an original combination of social movement theories and critical discourse analysis in order to analyse political‐institutional and discursive changes in urban reform in Brazil and Salvador. We then analyse how the MSTB moves within this new context, navigating its tensions and contradictions while advancing a radical project of transformation of urban reality within a reformist context. We also reflect on the relevance of Lefebvrian ideas for understanding and inspiring contemporary struggles for the right to the city.
    October 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12382   open full text
  • Reasons of Power: Explaining Non‐cooptation in Participatory Budgeting.
    Markus Holdo.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 08, 2016
    Research on the use of participatory budgeting (PB) in urban politics has, perhaps not surprisingly, found that PB participants are often coopted by the government. From a realist perspective, however, it is more surprising that cooptation does not always occur and the mechanisms of non‐cooptation are still not well understood. Previous research has often explained successful outcomes in terms of the ideology of incumbents or the strength of social movements demanding participation. In contrast to both these explanations, this article suggests that an important part is played by the political interest of political elite actors in the independence of PB participants from the government. Presenting the case of PB in Rosario, Argentina, the article finds that three conditions made it rational for political actors not to coopt participants. First, a legitimacy crisis created incentives to invest in a new field of state–civil society interaction. Second, state actors involved in the creation of the field came to invest in the meanings and values of the field. Third, the field of PB could produce legitimacy for the government by being perceived as independent. The article reasons that we can expect these mechanisms of non‐cooptation to be at work in much the same way in other places under similar circumstances.
    September 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12378   open full text
  • Ponds, Power and Institutions: The Everyday Governance of Accessing Urban Water Bodies in a Small Bengali City.
    Natasha Cornea, Anna Zimmer, René Véron.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 23, 2016
    While researchers in the growing field of urban political ecology have given significant attention to the fragmented hydroscape that characterizes access to drinking water in the global South, so far the (re)production of other urban waters and its related power relations have been underexplored. This article seeks to contribute to filling this gap by exploring the everyday negotiations over access to urban water bodies, in particular ponds. These are understood as a composite resource that is simultaneously water, land and public space. This analysis draws on a case study from a small city in West Bengal, India, and is based primarily on data from open interviews with different actors with a stake in urban ponds. The article demonstrates that in a context of ambiguity of the statutory governance regime and fragmented control, the (re)production of the pondscape is embedded within complex relationships of power whereby social marginalization can be offset at least momentarily by local institutions such as neighbourhood clubs and political parties.
    August 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12377   open full text
  • ‘Post‐Third‐World City' or Neoliberal ‘City of Exception'? Rio de Janeiro in the Olympic Era.
    Matthew Aaron Richmond, Jeff Garmany.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2016
    This article considers processes of urban development within the context of mega‐event preparations in Rio de Janeiro. We begin with a brief overview of these development processes, highlighting their connections to political and economic change in recent years. Proponents of these mega‐event‐led initiatives argue that Rio is undergoing a period of inclusive growth and integration: a perspective we call here a ‘post‐Third‐World city' narrative of urban renewal. Critics, however, contend that urban officials are harnessing mega‐events (e.g. the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games) to push forward a neoliberal agenda of socially unjust policies benefiting the interests of capital and marginalizing the city's poor and especially its favelas (i.e. the ‘city‐of‐exception' thesis). In this article we explore the insights of these two perspectives and consider why they have grown popular in recent years. Though we side generally with the city‐of‐exception thesis, we argue that important geographic and historical particularities must also be accounted for. Without carefully situating analytical perspectives empirically—in particular, cases in which theoretical models are drawn from European and North American contexts—urban researchers risk concealing more than they reveal in analyses of rapidly developing countries like Brazil.
    July 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12338   open full text
  • Politicizing Undocumented Immigrants One Corner at a Time: How Day Laborers Became a Politically Contentious Group.
    Walter Nicholls.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2016
    This article examines how undocumented immigrants become politicized and evolved into a relatively powerful group in the United States. It does so by examining the evolution of day laborers from their humble beginnings in a Los Angeles suburb in the early 1990s into an important component of the national immigrant rights movement today. It addresses the issue by examining the strategic importance of the ‘urban' in enabling stigmatized individuals like undocumented day laborers to overcome major barriers and establish themselves as a vocal and potent group in the public sphere. It suggests that once this group gained a foothold and a sense of itself through urban relational spaces, it experienced enhanced capacities to make rights claims in local and national political arenas. The article uses a case study of immigrant activism in Pasadena and Los Angeles, California, and draws special attention to the evolution of the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON).
    July 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12334   open full text
  • World Cities and the Uneven Geographies of Financialization: Unveiling Stratification and Hierarchy in the World City Archipelago.
    Michiel Van Meeteren , David Bassens.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 21, 2016
    This article critically evaluates the network‐centrism of much of contemporary world cities research and queries its capacity to unveil key accumulation processes under financialized globalization. Our object of inquiry is the world city archipelago (WCA), a material yet non‐contiguous space of world city ‘islands', which is (re)produced through the socio‐spatial practices of advanced producer services (APS) firms as they assist in constructing (financial) accumulation strategies for their clients. Scrutinizing the WCA with a singular focus on networks can veil dynamics that lead to internal stratification and hierarchy between world cities and their constitutive outside. Alternatively, these veiled dimensions are better grasped by territorial, scalar and place‐based abstractions. As an example, we unveil WCA space by studying the space of APS practices in three recent cases of Eurobond issuance. By comparing these three instances through an encompassing approach, a bounded geography of a financialized accumulation space is identified, which contains London and other world cities as a necessary space of dependence but also stretches out to various contingent spaces of engagement at the fringes of the WCA network: offshore jurisdictions and places of debt origination. We conclude by making the case for a heightened sensitivity in respect of core–periphery structures that exist between the WCA and its outside, but also within the WCA itself.
    July 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12344   open full text
  • Solidarity in Climate/Immigrant Justice Direct Action: Lessons from Movements in the US South.
    Sara Thomas Black , Richard Anthony Milligan, Nik Heynen.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 27, 2016
    In October of 2012, youth organizers from the immigrant justice and climate change resistance movements in the southeastern US metropolitan region of Atlanta, Georgia, coordinated a direct action tactic framed by a unified narrative justifying collaboration between immigrant and climate justice activists on equal terms. In a continuing collaborative relationship, these organizers embraced mutually strategic narratives rooted in local civil rights history, but rejected common ‘global climate justice’ narratives used to frame social and environmental collaborative organizing. We examine the departure from ‘global climate justice’ narratives, which was exemplified by coalition building in Georgia, to argue that scholarship articulating ‘global climate justice’ as a new context for integrating social and environmental movements must anticipate barriers to these solidarities, especially historical, regional and racialized dynamics of power among organizations engaged in these developing alliances. Based on an investigation of strategic alliances between anti‐racist, immigrant justice organizers and climate change activists in the metropolitan areas of Atlanta and Athens, Georgia, we argue that climate justice narratives in both activism and scholarship would benefit from more attention to the particular political and cultural geographies in which diverse forms of climate justice organizing can take hold.
    June 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12341   open full text
  • The Structural Origins of Territorial Stigma: Water and Racial Politics in Metropolitan Detroit, 1950s–2010s.
    Dana Kornberg.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 17, 2016
    This article develops the concept of territorial stigma by analyzing how it can be cultivated at the level of political institutions across administrative divides. I consider the case of Detroit's regional water department, which until 2016 was owned and operated by the city and served over 120 suburban regional municipalities. I start by examining the cooperative city–suburban water system expansion in the 1950s and then analyze the rise of Detroit's first black‐led administration in 1974, after which the water authority became a key regional institution that provided an opportunity for white suburban leaders to organize against the city. I find that suburban leaders advanced their immediate goal of mitigating rate hikes by declaring the city to be greedy and inept, instead of acknowledging structural conditions that increased operational costs. This had the effect of reproducing racialized stereotypes at the political level, which had enduring effects. The argument builds on the existing literature on territorial stigma by (1) identifying state institutions as sites for the propagation of stigma and (2) considering stigmatized places in relation to their non‐stigmatized neighbors. The analysis integrates material‐structural and cultural‐symbolic factors in order to understand the perpetuation of regional urban inequalities.
    June 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12343   open full text
  • Why Local Social Forums Emerge Where They do: Beyond Diffusion, Geographical Appropriation.
    Pascale Dufour.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 17, 2016
    Social forums are, quintessentially, a transnationally mobile institutional enterprise. Since the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 2001, thousands of local initiatives have emerged all over the world. Yet we know very little about the diffusion processes involved. This article examines nine local social forums (LSFs) in two societies (France and Québec) in order to understand how social forums (SFs) spread throughout or within each territory. Aside from the usual factors, such as the presence or absence of an initiator, favorable political opportunity structure and access to resources, I consider the geography of appropriation, with an emphasis on the dimensions of place (where the forums are organized), and scales of action built by activists. First, I show that, as proposed in the social movement literature, SFs spread from the global South to the global North as a direct result of activists willing to reproduce within their localities that which they have seen and experienced on a larger scale. Political opportunity structures and access to resources appear relevant to understanding the longevity of LSFs and their capacity to be more or less encompassing experiences. But beyond these ‘usual suspects’, the geographical appropriation of social forums is an important consideration that helps us understand the specific diffusion of LSFs in each national territory. In Québec, the region is perceived as a ‘given’ by activists and becomes the relevant scale of collective action, while in France, scale building is at stake and LSFs are used as a tool to escape the centralization of the main national organization in the field of global protest.
    June 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12348   open full text
  • Formalization by the State, Re‐Informalization by the People: A Gecekondu Transformation Housing Estate as Site of Multiple Discrepancies.
    Tahire Erman.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 13, 2016
    This article demonstrates residents' transformative practices and discusses attendant outcomes to contribute to an understanding of state‐built housing estates for people affected by urban transformation projects. It draws upon ethnographic fieldwork conducted in a social housing estate (K‐TOKI) in the Northern Ankara Entrance Urban Transformation Project (NAEUTP). It addresses questions on why formalization of informal housing takes place today, under what conditions it is countered by re‐informalization practices, and what the outcomes of this process are. As informal housing became formalized by NAEUTP, gecekondu dwellers were forced into formalized spaces and lives within K‐TOKI, which was based on a middle‐class lifestyle in its design and its legally required central management. Informality re‐emerged in K‐TOKI when the state's housing institution, in response to the estate's poor marketability, moved out, allowing residents to reappropriate spaces to meet their needs and form their own management system. When cultural norms that are inscribed in the built environment and financial norms that treat residents as clients conflict with everyday practices and financial capabilities, the urban poor increasingly engage in acts of informality. I argue that the outcome of this informality in a formal context is a site of multiple discrepancies.
    June 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12349   open full text
  • Financializing Desalination: Rethinking the Returns of Big Infrastructure.
    Alex Loftus, Hug March.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 13, 2016
    Against the trend prevalent during the 1990s and 2000s, large‐scale infrastructural projects have made a comeback in the water sector. Although sometimes framed as part of a broader sustainable transition, the return of big infrastructure is a much more complicated story in which finance has played a crucial role. In the following article, we explore this encounter between finance and water infrastructure using the case of Britain's first experiment in desalination technologies, the Thames Water Desalination Plant (TWDP). On the surface, the plant appears to be a classic example of the successes of normative industrial ecology, in which sustainability challenges have been met with forward‐thinking green innovations. However, the TWDP is utterly dependent on a byzantine financial model, which has shaped Thames Water's investment strategy over the last decade. This article returns to the fundamental question of whether London ever needed a desalination plant in the first place. Deploying an urban political ecology approach, we demonstrate how the plant is simultaneously an iconic illustration of ecological modernization and a fragile example of an infrastructure‐heavy solution to the demands of financialization. Understanding the development of the TWDP requires a focus on the scalar interactions between flows of finance, waste, energy and water that are woven through the hydrosocial cycle of London.
    June 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12342   open full text
  • A Sense of Displacement: Long‐time Residents' Feelings of Displacement in Gentrifying Bushwick, New York.
    Chiara Valli.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 02, 2016
    This article is a contribution to reinforcing our understanding of gentrification and displacement as neighborhood expressions of inequality. It explores the experiences of gentrification of lower‐income, long‐time residents in the gentrifying neighborhood of Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York City. The focus is on components of displacement beyond the traditional emphasis on outmigration. In particular, the article pinpoints the emotional, affective, psychological reactions of long‐time residents triggered through the encounter with newcomers. While the entry point is the exploration of emotions and affects, the article argues that these feelings are outcomes of material socio‐economic inequalities and, in particular, their powerfully racialized historical foundations, as embodied in the contemporary encounter of long‐time residents with newcomers.
    June 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12340   open full text
  • Beyond Bureaucracy: How Prosecutors and Public Defenders Enforce Urban Planning Laws in São Paulo, Brazil.
    Salo V. Coslovsky.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 02, 2016
    Cities need law to thrive, but it is not clear how abstract texts become tangible policy outcomes. Existing research on the role of law in urban affairs conceives law as either an algorithm that shapes urban life or a reflection of political disputes. The former assumes that the meaning of law is obvious; the latter claims it is irrelevant. In contrast to these views, I argue that laws are multipurpose instruments that acquire a specific function when enforced by those government agents who operate at the frontlines of public service. To understand what these agents do and why, I conducted a qualitative study of the Ministério Público and the Defensoria Pública in São Paulo, Brazil. Through this process, I found that these government agencies are not cohesive bureaucracies but heterarchies composed of distinct internal factions with different evaluative principles. Moreover, officials within them are not isolated from other entities in society but tightly entangled with them, and these connections influence what these officials do. Finally, enforcement agents are not always resigned to solving conflicts as they arise. Rather, they strive to find acceptable solutions in the interstices of existing conditions or even change the circumstances that created the conflict in the first place.
    June 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12330   open full text
  • Segregated Networks in the City.
    Vinicius M. Netto , Maíra Pinheiro Soares, Roberto Paschoalino.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 02, 2016
    Segregation has been one of the most persistent features of urban life and, accordingly, one of the main subjects of enquiry in urban studies. Stemming from a tradition that can be traced back to the Chicago School in the early twentieth century, social segregation has been seen as the natural consequence of the social division of space. Such naturalized understanding of segregation as ‘territorial segregation' takes space as a surrogate for social distance. We propose a shift in the focus from the static segregation of places—where social distance is assumed rather than fully explained—to how social segregation is reproduced through embodied urban trajectories. We aim to accomplish this by exploring the spatial behaviour of different social groups as networks of movement that constitute opportunities for co‐presence. This alternative view recasts the original idea of segregation as ‘restrictions on interaction' by concentrating on the spatiality of segregation potentially active in the circumstances of social contact and encounters in the city. This approach to segregation as a subtle process that operates ultimately through trajectories of the body is illustrated by an empirical study in a Brazilian city.
    June 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12346   open full text
  • Economic Rationality Meets Celebrity Urbanology: Exploring Edward Glaeser's City.
    Jamie Peck.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 18, 2016
    This article presents a critique of the popular and public‐policy work of Harvard economist Edward Glaeser, which has been constructed at the nexus of neoclassical economic rationality and celebrity urbanology. Widely recognized as one of the world's leading urbanists, Glaeser has combined a high‐flying academic career with public‐policy engagement and extensive work as a newspaper columnist and media commentator, enabled by a longstanding affiliation with the Manhattan Institute, a leading conservative think tank. The critique is pointed, but seeks to exceed argumentum ad hominem by calling attention to sociopolitical and institutional factors that have facilitated the accelerated diffusion and enlarged dominion of this model (and mode) of microeconomically rationalized urbanism, including the production of new forms of intellectual marketing, the construction of colonizing variants of urban‐economic expertise, and the ongoing rearticulation and creeping consolidation of market‐centric policy norms. The article argues that a distinctive form of urban‐economic orthodoxy is under construction, based on a potent fusion of scientific reasoning and pop presentation, combining ideologically disciplined applications of neoclassical economics with dissemination in the register of the ‘freakonomics' franchise. Edward Glaeser's intellectual accomplishments have been significant, but the ‘Glaeser effect' is more than a story of individual scholarly endeavor, calling for more than a merely ‘internal' critique. Its conformity to Manhattan Institute principles testifies to a telling consistency of ideological purpose, contributing as it does to a sustained effort to rationalize and normalize lean and limited modes of neoliberal urban governance, fortified by microeconomic reason.
    May 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12321   open full text
  • Towards a ‘Post‐Neoliberal’ Mode of Housing Regulation? The Israeli Social Protest of Summer 2011.
    Sebastian Schipper.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 04, 2016
    In the summer of 2011, after decades of virtually uncontested neoliberalization, Israel was swept by unprecedented protests against the rising cost of living, social inequality and, most particularly, escalating housing prices. Within two weeks, a small protest camp established on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv had grown into a mass movement involving hundreds of thousands of people across the country. Given an ambivalent sense of the significance of urban movements in bringing about social change, the aim of this article is to analyze whether the Israeli social protest was able to push forward a post‐neoliberal mode of housing regulation. Building on a framework developed by Brenner, Peck and Theodore to grasp transformations in the landscape of regulatory restructuring, this article argues that the movement has indeed achieved a far‐reaching hegemonic shift in public discourse and also become an important driver in promoting regulatory experiments. Despite its achievements, however, the movement was unable to challenge the Israeli ‘rule regime' of neoliberalization, on account of two structural constraints that were shielded by the most powerful state apparatuses: the commodity character of housing; and a neoliberalized land regime, where state‐owned land is treated as a profit machine for public finance.
    May 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12318   open full text
  • Urban Political Ecologies and Children's Geographies: Queering Urban Ecologies of Childhood.
    Laura J. Shillington , Ann Marie F. Murnaghan.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. April 22, 2016
    This article focuses on the material and discursive constructions of nature and children in the city. While dominant representations and idealizations of nature and childhood depend on the binary logic of the nature/culture and rural/urban divide, there is also a simplification and romanticization of nature in children's geographies and a lack of children and their spaces in urban political ecology. We argue that children and nature in cities need to be removed from a binary model of being and attended to in more nuanced ways in urban political ecology and children's geographies. In this regard, we suggest that both nature and children in cities need to be queered. We need to ask how the production of urban spaces (re)creates particular romantic and idealized relations with natures that reify the binaries between nature/culture, and male/female through a heteronormative framework. The purpose of this article is to bring the critical nature–society theories of urban political ecology into conversation with work in children's geographies that explores the ‘nature' of childhood, and in doing so queer the relationship between children and nature. Drawing on research on queer ecologies, and queered childhoods, we aim to provide a framework to rethink and queer both nature and children in cities.
    April 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12339   open full text
  • Strategies for Comparative Urbanism: Post‐socialism as a De‐territorialized Concept.
    Tauri Tuvikene.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. April 13, 2016
    The aim of this article is to critically assess the study of post‐socialist cities with respect to comparative urbanism. Even though comparative urbanism has challenged the division of the world into largely incommensurable regional containers, where some regions are sources of theory while others remain in the periphery of thinking, post‐socialist cities have remained doubly excluded: neither centre nor periphery, neither mainstream nor part of the critique. This article introduces three ways in which post‐socialism has and could be perceived: as a container, as a condition and as a de‐territorialized concept. It is argued here that seeing post‐socialism as a de‐territorialized concept that would apply to particular aspects of cities and societies rather than territorialized units in general would allow cities regularly seen as post‐socialist to be incorporated into global urban theorizing, while distinctive local histories and experiences still remain analytically present. The article cautions researchers against area‐based imaginations of urban theorization, instead arguing in favour of an approach that sees cities first and foremost as ordinary while some aspects could be claimed to be post‐socialist. Tallinn is used here as a site from which to draw examples for this mainly literature‐based conceptual analysis.
    April 13, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12333   open full text
  • Licensing, Popular Practices and Public Spaces: An Inquiry via the Geographies of Street Food Vending.
    Regan Koch.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 12, 2016
    The socio‐legal technology of licensing is one of the primary tools governments use to manage spaces and practices deemed risky or threatening to public order. Licensing requirements thus play a crucial role in shaping routine experiences in public space as well as the trajectories of emerging forms of public life. Yet licensing laws have largely been ignored in critical urban scholarship: too often concerned with the interpretation and critique of popular practices and public spaces, the mundane operations of urban governance are often left to practitioners and policy researchers. This article demonstrates how paying closer attention to licensure can provide valuable and unexpected insights into matters of social equality, urban amenity and economic opportunity. It does so through a comparative inquiry into practices of street food vending in New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon. Drawing on ethnographic study and interviews, the article demonstrates how licensing can be involved in the production of quite peculiar and unjust geographies of practice, but also how shifts in popular culture can force a reconsideration of taken‐for‐ granted laws. In conclusion, it is argued that a focus on licensing offers a productive pathway for new forms of critical urban research and provides a potential point of leverage in efforts to configure better and more democratic forms of urban public life.
    March 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12316   open full text
  • Accounts from behind the Curtain: History and Geography in the Critical Analysis of Urban Theory.
    Slavomíra Ferenčuhová.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 09, 2016
    This article seeks to contribute to the debate on the proposal to decentre urban theory and to develop postcolonial urban studies, and on the related issue of the geography of the production and circulation of knowledge. It focuses on how scholars writing about post‐socialist cities explain why their sub‐field has so far contributed little to urban theory, and it proposes an alternative—historically informed—perspective on the issue. Based on an analysis of the ties and exchanges that existed between urban studies in Central and Eastern Europe and ‘West‐based' urban theory and research during the state‐socialist period, this article argues that the recognized current position of research on post‐socialist cities in relation to international urban scholarship has important historical parallels with the period prior to 1989. The article thus underlines the need to include a historically informed analysis of geography of knowledge production in critical thinking about urban theory and in the project of cosmopolitan urban studies. The capacities of researchers in different localities to contribute to this project are various and shaped by the history of the discipline. The conditions and perspectives in and from which researchers contribute to urban theory should therefore be taken into account if the project of cosmopolitan urban studies is to succeed.
    March 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12332   open full text
  • ‘Asset Price Urbanism’ and Financialization after the Crisis: Ireland's National Asset Management Agency.
    Michael Byrne.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 03, 2016
    The impact of the global financial crisis on cities is the subject of an important body of research. One aspect which has received surprisingly little attention is the urban dimension of government interventions in the financial sector, particularly given the integration of finance and real estate is widely understood as a key driver of the crisis. This article examines one such intervention, the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), a ‘bad bank' established by the Irish government to acquire and manage ‘toxic' real estate loans from the banking sector. Although envisaged as an intervention in the financial sector, the relationship between finance and real estate is such that the agency has a significant impact on urban development and, at the same time, that the management of urban space plays a key role in resolving the financial crisis and restoring the flow of credit in the economy. The article develops the concept of ‘asset price urbanism' to capture the way in which urban space and its relationship to finance is managed to bolster the relationship between real estate and credit, and theorizes this as a significant aspect of contemporary accumulation. The article thus makes an empirically grounded conceptual contribution to literature on the urban dimension of financialization.
    March 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12331   open full text
  • Whose Responsibility? The Role of Bouncers in Policing the Public Spaces of Nightlife Districts.
    Van Liempt, Van Aalst.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 26, 2016
    This article, based on interviews with bouncers and on ethnographic observations in two nightlife districts in the centre of two Dutch cities, Utrecht and Rotterdam, shows that public–private collaboration reveals ways of controlling public space that differ from traditional ways of policing. It demonstrates that plural policing does not automatically imply greater responsibility of private actors towards public (nightlife) spaces. A history of mistrust of private security, bouncers' increasingly ambiguous working conditions and the high levels of surveillance bouncers are subject to result in bouncers rather focusing on protecting the nightclub for which they are responsible and guaranteeing their own safety within the surveillance network, than on venturing out into public spaces to ‘protect and assure visitors' safety', as is assumed in Safe Nightlife Policies.
    February 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12320   open full text
  • Subterranean Commodification: Informal Housing and the Legalization of Basement Suites in Vancouver from 1928 to 2009.
    Pablo Mendez, Noah Quastel.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 26, 2016
    This article draws on Margaret Radin's theorization of ‘contested commodities' to explore the process whereby informal housing becomes formalized while also being shaped by legal regulation. In seeking to move once‐informal housing into the domain of official legality, cities can seldom rely on a simple legal framework of private‐law principles of property and contract. Instead, they face complex trade‐offs between providing basic needs and affordability and meeting public‐law norms around living standards, traditional neighbourhood feel and the environment. This article highlights these issues through an examination of the uneven process of legal formalization of basement apartments in Vancouver, Canada. We chose a lengthy period—from 1928 to 2009—to explore how basement apartments became a vital source of housing often at odds with city planning that has long favoured a low‐density residential built form. We suggest that Radin's theoretical account makes it possible to link legalization and official market construction with two questions: whether to permit commodification and how to permit commodification. Real‐world commodification processes—including legal sanction—reflect hybridization, pragmatic decision making and regulatory compromise. The resolution of questions concerning how to legalize commodification are also intertwined with processes of market expansion.
    February 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12337   open full text
  • Urban Poverty, Segregation and Social Networks in São Paulo and Salvador, Brazil.
    Eduardo Marques.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 27, 2016
    General consensus exists concerning the relevance of networks and space in poverty situations, despite a considerable dispute on the prominence of each element. While social‐support and poverty debates highlight the joint importance of space and networks, the research agenda on contemporary communities suggests that networks have recently started replacing space in social integration. These debates mainly consider networks and ties normatively and are restricted to the global North, hampering the formulation of comparative interpretations and more theoretical conclusions. This article discusses the relationship between space, sociability and poverty, based on research results on networks of poor individuals in two major Brazilian metropolises—Salvador and São Paulo. Research indicates the existence of great heterogeneity in the networks of poor individuals, although with substantial differences, on average, to middle‐class individuals. Certain types of networks and sociability are systematically associated with better living conditions, employment and income. Additionally, network mobilization by individuals presents important regularities associated with social mechanisms, understood as regular patterns that trigger or cause certain results. These mechanisms explain to a great extent the heterogeneity of networks, and mediate the individual's access to opportunities and everyday assistance. They therefore contribute decisively to the production (and reproduction) of urban poverty.
    January 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12300   open full text
  • Healthy Food Stores, Greenlining and Food Gentrification: Contesting New Forms of Privilege, Displacement and Locally Unwanted Land Uses in Racially Mixed Neighborhoods.
    Isabelle Anguelovski.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 18, 2016
    Local activists engaged in contemporary environmental justice struggles not only fight against traditional forms of hazardous locally unwanted land uses (LULUs), they also organize to make their neighborhoods livable and green. However, urban environmental justice activism is at a crossroads: as marginalized neighborhoods become revitalized, outside investors start to value them again and they themselves invest in green amenities. Yet vulnerable residents are now raising concerns about the risk of displacement from their neighborhoods in consequence of environmental gentrification processes. Their fear is linked to environmental amenities such as new parks or remodeled waterfronts, as well as (most recently) healthy food stores. Using the case of a conflict around a new Whole Foods supermarket in Boston, MA, I examine how food venues and stores labeled as healthy and natural can create socio‐spatial inequality together with privilege, exclusion and displacement in racially diverse neighborhoods. I analyze how high‐end supermarket chains target inner‐city neighborhoods for their growth and profit potential, and demonstrate that their arrival contributes to what I call ‘supermarket greenlining'. This greenlining illustrates the process of food gentrification, and the manipulation of health and sustainability discourses about food by healthy and natural food investors and their supporters. The opening of high‐end supermarkets thus converts such stores into new LULUs for historically marginalized groups.
    January 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12299   open full text
  • Practicing Openness: Investigating the Role of Everyday Decision Making in the Production of Squatted Space.
    Joost de Moor.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 18, 2016
    By means of illegal occupation, squatters produce (urban) space. Previous studies have predominantly focused on the external dimensions of this process (e.g. squatters' negotiations with authorities), while the few studies that have analyzed the internal processes of producing squatted space have mainly focused on formal and explicit decision‐making processes. The effect of everyday practices and improvised decision making on the production of squatted space, however, has been overlooked. This article aims to fill this gap in the literature. It draws on five months of ethnographic fieldwork in two ‘entrepreneurial squats' (in the Netherlands and France) to analyze how, on an everyday practical level, squatters seek to reconcile a frame that advocates ‘open space' with contradictory practical or emotional needs. It finds that squatters regulate the openness of the spaces they occupy by putting into place spatial, temporal and social boundaries that define who and what is more or less in place. Based on a level of personal or ideological identification, then, the squatters establish a sense of community, distinguish between desirable and undesirable activities and create spatial meaning.
    January 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12305   open full text
  • Animating the Urban Vortex: New Sociological Urgencies.
    Suzanne Hall, Mike Savage.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 14, 2015
    The current era of global urbanization is defined by a convergence of economic and political crises requiring urgent sociological reflection on the meaning of the ‘urban' today. This article responds to the current rethinking of worldwide processes of urbanization sparked off by Brenner, and Brenner and Schmid, arguing for a renewed sociological approach to urban formations that probes beyond the economic logic of urban ‘de‐territorialization', towards the capricious life‐worlds and forms of planetary organization that define the urban. We pursue a theory of the ‘urban vortex' to capture the maelstrom of disorienting crises since 2008, and explicate the social formations implicated in the construction, materialization and practice of power and transgression in cities today. Our aim is to consider what forms of social change emerge in volatile, intense and centralized dynamics (the urban vortex), and how this might relate to arrangements of interconnectivity, particularity and variegation (the planetary). The article highlights three prominent processes of urban social formation: accumulation, stratification and hyper‐diversity—reinstating the need to theorize the centrality of the city within the formations of twenty‐first century capitalism.
    December 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12304   open full text
  • The Limits of Shrinkage: Conceptual Pitfalls and Alternatives in the Discussion of Urban Population Loss.
    Matthias Bernt.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 14, 2015
    This essay reflects on the conceptual underpinnings of research on ‘shrinking cities' over the last decade. It criticizes the definition of shrinkage in terms of urban population losses and argues that the state‐of‐the art research on ‘shrinking cities' suffers from a misleading conceptualization of shrinkage which forces essentially different urban constellations into a universal model of ‘shrinkage'. Four problems of this procrustean bed are discussed in detail: methodological pitfalls of threshold definitions of urban shrinkage; empirical contradictions; an absence of attention to scalar interrelations; and insufficient understanding of cities as historical processes. The essay ends with suggestions for a widened conceptualization of shrinkage and a new research agenda.
    December 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12289   open full text
  • Rental as A Taste of Freedom: The Decline of Home Ownership amongst Working‐class Youth in Spain during Times of Crisis.
    Mikel Aramburu.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 18, 2015
    Over the past few decades, as the neoliberal project gradually took hold, owning one's home became a widespread practice in Spanish society. However, the prospects of purchasing housing have since been severely reduced due to the bursting of the real estate bubble and the onset of an overwhelming economic crisis. This article analyses how working‐class young people in Catalonia reflect on this phenomenon as they face their own process of moving away from home. It also considers the extent to which the spread of the so‐called ‘culture of ownership' represented an expression of neoliberal culture, and the extent to which the apparent dissolution of the former implies the erosion of the latter. The article concludes that home ownership has undergone a complex resignification in this sector of society, but continues to be an important aspiration insofar as the underlying conditions that originally brought it about continue to exist.
    November 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12218   open full text
  • Inclusionary Zoning and Exclusionary Development: The Politics of ‘Affordable Housing' in North Brooklyn.
    Filip Stabrowski.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 18, 2015
    A key element of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace program has been the use of voluntary inclusionary zoning, through which private developers have been offered tax breaks and density bonuses to develop affordable housing on newly rezoned land. While this program has failed to alleviate the housing affordability crisis in New York City, little attention has been paid to its political effects on community‐based struggles over housing. This article addresses this question by examining the 2005 Greenpoint‐Williamsburg Waterfront Rezoning, which combined a voluntary inclusionary zoning program with a tenant services contract intended to mitigate the residential displacement effects of the rezoning. I critically examine its design, execution and monitoring, based on two years of work as an organizer and administrator of the tenant services contract. I argue that technologies of consent and control have reshaped the politics of housing in North Brooklyn by replacing resistance to gentrification with amelioration of its effects, through the anticipated creation of affordable housing. The upshot has been an emergent politics of housing in which real estate‐led development is regarded not as a cause of gentrification but as its solution.
    November 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12297   open full text
  • Spaces of Extraction, Metropolitan Explosions: Planetary Urbanization and the Commodity Boom in Latin America.
    Martín Arboleda.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 06, 2015
    Through an exploration of the political economy of the current commodity boom in Latin America, and on the basis of recent appropriations of Henri Lefebvre's notion of planetary urbanization, this article proposes viewing spaces of resource extraction resulting from an escalating international demand for raw materials as particular morphological expressions of market‐driven processes of urbanization. Furthermore, the article draws on Lefebvre to argue that such burgeoning spaces of urbanization are the result of a contradictory tension between spatial homogenization—in the form of multiscalar governance frameworks and infrastructural programs—and territorial fragmentation—in the form of fixed capital allocations and state‐led spatial segregation. When considered jointly, these contradictory movements allow us to grasp fully the extent of the problematic explosion of spaces that, according to Lefebvre, characterizes capitalist urbanization. The article concludes by reflecting on the emancipatory promise that underlies the planetary extension of the urban form because, with the projection of material infrastructures required for resource extraction—especially information technologies—across the rural realm, local communities have been able to shed their isolated state and emerge as fully fledged political actors.
    November 06, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12290   open full text
  • Social Sciences and Urban Studies: Goodbye to Paradigms?
    Emilio Duhau.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 08, 2015
    The development of urban studies during the 1960s and 1970s was an offshoot of mainstream social sciences which, at least in Latin America, were formulated from a critical standpoint based largely on a renovated Marxism and the rise of the structuralisms. Now that this framework's apparently solid base has come under question in the so‐called ‘paradigm crisis', what is the outlook for urban studies and, in general, for the critical social sciences? This article poses a series of ideas which hopefully will contribute to a discussion on these and other aspects of a theoretical debate which cannot be ignored by urban researchers.
    August 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12205   open full text
  • Development by Decree: The Limits of ‘Authoritarian Modernization’ in the Russian Federation.
    Nadir Kinossian, Kevin Morgan.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. April 28, 2014
    The apparent success of state‐managed market economies has challenged the conventional wisdom that liberal democracy is the norm around which all capitalist countries tend to converge. If the link between democracy and development is more tenuous than we often think, the authoritarian variety of capitalism is not without its own problems, especially with respect to political legitimacy, innovation and regional development. This article explores these issues through the prism of ‘authoritarian modernization’ in Russia. We argue that this strategy is unlikely to succeed, even in its own terms, because (1) the political system fails to create favourable institutional conditions for modernization; (2) the economic system is beset by deeply embedded structural problems; and (3) the regional policy apparatus is torn between the goals of spatial equalization and spatial agglomeration. The article focuses on the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, the main symbol of Russian modernization, to demonstrate the territorial repertoire of the mega‐project, a state‐sponsored development strategy to create innovation clusters from above because they cannot emerge from below.
    April 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12159   open full text
  • Land Tenure in the Changing Peri‐Urban Areas of Ethiopia: The Case of Bahir Dar City.
    Achamyeleh Gashu Adam.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. April 11, 2014
    Ethiopia's urban expansion and development strategy has been based on the acquisition of land by government from adjacent peri‐urban areas. The land in the peri‐urban areas is predominantly agricultural in nature, and it has been held by local farmers or landholders. This article aims to examine the nature of urban expansion and development from the perspective of the land rights of the local peri‐urban landholders. To achieve this purpose, it has employed a case‐study approach. As urban territory extends into adjacent peri‐urban areas, the land rights of local landholders are expected to be automatically cancelled and transferred to people who can pay for a lease. This shows that very little attention is paid to the land rights of local landholders in peri‐urban areas in the process of urban expansion and development. Therefore, it is not difficult to imagine that local landholders in those areas have a prevailing sense of insecurity about their land.
    April 11, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12123   open full text
  • Macau Metropolis and Mental Life: Interior Urbanism and the Chinese Imaginary.
    Tim Simpson.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 27, 2014
    This article investigates the tendency towards an interiorized and encapsulated urbanity in Macau and the functional role of this phenomenon in the ‘mental life’ of Chinese consumers. A Portuguese territory for half a millennium, Macau was returned to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1999; the postcolonial, semi‐autonomous Macau Special Administrative Region has subsequently become the most lucrative casino gaming site in the world, far surpassing casino revenues earned in Las Vegas. This article investigates the manner in which the local government of the city‐state and the central government of the PRC have colluded with transnational capital to effect a remarkable enclosure of the urban commons in Macau. The entire city today may be understood as a biopolitical laboratory of consumption, where the PRC uses a preferential exit visa policy to allow tourists from select, relatively affluent provinces access to Macau. The new built environment of the city naturalizes a radical urban imaginary and corresponding post‐socialist ‘quality’ consumer subject; that subject is crucial to the macroeconomic goals of the PRC and the sustainability of global capitalism.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12139   open full text
  • Urban Governance and the ‘European City’: Ideals and Realities in Dublin, Ireland.
    Philip Lawton, Michael Punch.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 24, 2014
    Throughout recent decades, a significant amount of attention has been given to the notion of the ‘European city’ within policy formation and academic enquiry. From one perspective, the ideal of the ‘European city’ is presented as a densely developed urban area with a focus on quality public transport and a more balanced social structure. More recently, however, the particular elements of the ‘European city’ associated with pedestrianized public space, urban design and image‐making strategies have become central features of entrepreneurial urban policies throughout Europe. This article undertakes an examination of the notion of the ‘European city’ in urban change in Dublin since the 1990s. Specifically, the article illustrates the degree to which a wholly positive spin on the urban design and image‐making elements of the ‘European city’ in Dublin has served as a thin veil for the desired transformation of Dublin according to neoliberal principles.
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12152   open full text
  • Racialization and Rescaling: Post‐Katrina Rebuilding and the Louisiana Road Home Program.
    Kevin Fox Gotham.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 24, 2014
    This article examines the interlocking nature of racialization and rescaling in post‐Katrina New Orleans, focusing specifically on the implementation of the Louisiana Road Home program, the largest housing recovery program in US history. Based on interviews and long‐term ethnographic fieldwork, I conceptualize the Road Home program as a racialized spatial strategy to revalorize disaster‐devastated spaces and enhance the exchangeability of damaged property. I trace the logic of rescaling in post‐Katrina New Orleans and reveal the ways in which state policies to accelerate the turnover time of flood‐damaged housing reflect and reinforce the racialization of space. New Orleans stands as a valuable laboratory for the study of government intervention under conditions of widespread upscaling, downscaling and outscaling processes, pushing trends found elsewhere to their limits while revealing the negative consequences of rescaling for local institutions and residents. The article illustrates the localized dynamics of rescaling in times of crisis and offers a novel processual account of the drivers and consequences of rescaling processes in a disaster‐impacted territory.
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12141   open full text
  • A Springtime Journey to the Soviet Union: Postwar Planning and Policy Mobilities through the Iron Curtain.
    Ian R. Cook, Stephen V. Ward, Kevin Ward.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 11, 2014
    This article builds upon a relatively small but growing literature in geography, planning and cognate disciplines that seeks to understand the variegated geographies and histories of policy mobilities. The article uses a case study of an exchange trip between town planners in the Soviet Union and the UK between 1957 and 1958. It focuses on the experiences of the British planners in the Soviet Union and sets the tour within the wider context of a fluctuating and sometimes turbulent history of Anglo‐Soviet politics, travels and connections. In doing this, the article makes three arguments: first, there is much to be gained by bringing together the geography‐dominated policy mobilities literature with that on exchanges and visits by architects, engineers and planners. Secondly, the greater sensitivity to the histories of policy mobilities allows contemporary studies to be contextualized in the longer history of organized learning between different urban professions. Thirdly, despite the long history of policy mobilities, what differentiates the current era from previous eras is the prominent ‘knowledge intermediary’ roles now played by consultancies and think tanks. As the article will demonstrate, it was branches of government and professional bodies, rather than consultancies and think tanks, that tended to dominate such roles previously.
    March 11, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12133   open full text
  • ‘Stop Being a Tourist!’ New Dynamics of Urban Tourism in Berlin‐Kreuzberg.
    Henning Füller, Boris Michel.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 25, 2014
    Berlin is witnessing a massive tourism boom, and parts of it can be described as ‘new urban tourism’, which shows a preference for off the beaten track areas and ‘authentic’ experiences of the city. This form of tourism seems especially salient in Kreuzberg. It is here that an openly articulated critique of tourism attracted national attention in 2011 and has not ceased to do so since. This article aims to better understand the conflictive potential of (new urban) tourism in Kreuzberg. We argue that the readily expressed negative attitudes against tourists and the easily accepted link between tourism and gentrification have to be explained against the backdrop of certain housing‐market dynamics. Rising rents and a diminution in the number of flats available for rent are fuelling fears of gentrification in Kreuzberg, while the interest shown in new urban tourism and the comparatively low‐priced real‐estate market in Berlin result in a growing number of holiday flats. Although adding only slightly to the tightening of the housing market, holiday flats render complex processes of neighborhood change visible and further sustain an already prevalent tourism critique.
    February 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12124   open full text
  • Panama as Palimpsest: The Reformulation of the ‘Transit Corridor’ in a Global Economy.
    Thomas J. Sigler.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 24, 2014
    The interface between economic globalization and territorial formation has been a fundamental concern to scholars from a wide range of disciplines as both supra‐ and subnational configurations increasingly supplant the role of the nation‐state so as to achieve purported political or economic objectives. Though extensive literatures document this process, considerable lacunae exist with regard to the understanding thereof within a socio‐historical framework. This article invokes the concept of ‘palimpsest’ as a metaphor through which one reads the re‐inscription of multiple layers of the built environment or territory vis‐à‐vis the widespread changes within Panama's ‘transit corridor’ — a densely settled territorial strip extending from the northern city of Colón to Panama City in the south. Though much of this transformation has been attributed to the newfound economic stability of the Panamanian state, I argue that these structural changes are best understood in the context of prior developments on the Isthmus of Panama dating back centuries. To this end, both structural and poststructural arguments are invoked so as to transgress a narrow focus on Panama as a fixed territorial entity.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12132   open full text
  • Policing Urban Natures: Conservation Officer Work in Ottawa and Toronto, Canada.
    Kevin Walby, Chris Hurl.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 24, 2014
    Drawing on the results of interviews and access to information requests, we explore conservation officer work in two urban regions in one Canadian province (Ontario). Specifically, we examine the work of the federal‐level National Capital Commission (NCC) in Ottawa and the provincial‐level Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). Applying Jessop, Brenner and Jones's model of socio‐spatial relations, we show how nature plays a different role in NCC and TRCA policing depending on the places their conservation officers work in, the kinds of territorial boundary maintenance in which they engage, the scaling of their activities in various jurisdictions, and the policing networks that they are part of. In assessing the place of nature in conservation officers' work, we contribute to debates about how the boundary between nature and the urban is produced through regulatory practices.
    February 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12122   open full text
  • Incoherence and Tension in Culture‐Led Redevelopment.
    Vanessa Mathews.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 17, 2014
    This article contributes to contemporary debates surrounding the outcome of culture‐led redevelopment by exploring the tensions that arise when a broad application of ‘culture’ is used to theme space. I take as my focus the Distillery District, a private sector redevelopment in the City of Toronto, Ontario that draws on the arts alongside industrial heritage to heighten consumption. The article is divided into two main sections. I begin with a review of Toronto's shifting arts policies — from a focus on securing space for artistic production to a focus on arts consumption for interurban competition — to contextualize the planning framework underlying the redevelopment of the district. Second, I engage with how diverse and creative interruptions directed by the tenancy run against the unifying grain of the redevelopment process. While culture and creativity are drawn into a strategy of place‐making for the purpose of place distinction, an incongruous festival and events season, and the tokenistic inclusion of cultural producers to satisfy a public appetite for the creative process, complicate these descriptors of space. Ultimately, the representation of the Distillery as a premier centre for ‘arts, culture, and entertainment’ is unravelled by multimodal ways of seeing and experiencing culture and place.
    February 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12108   open full text
  • Relational Comparison and LGBTQ Activism in European Cities.
    Jon Binnie.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 17, 2014
    This article examines the role of city twinning as a device for conducting transnational activism around lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) politics. It focuses on the city of Leiden in the Netherlands, examining how the city's twinning links with the cities of Torun in Poland and Oxford in the UK have been used at different times as a device to mobilize transnational solidarities with LGBTQ people outside of the Netherlands. Drawing on qualitative semi‐structured interviews with LGBTQ activists in Leiden as part of a wider study of transnational LGBTQ activism in Europe, I seek to understand how twinning links are used to forge sustainable solidarities both across national boundaries and within Leiden. I suggest that relational comparisons about the status and treatment of sexual dissidents in Leiden and its twin cities are central to the production of these solidarities. While twinning has significant potential as a device for the production of sustainable transnational LGBTQ activism, I also suggest that it can be used to advance problematic geo‐temporalities about the relative ‘progressiveness’ or ‘backwardness’ of LGBTQ politics in specific cities.
    February 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12111   open full text
  • The Politics of Property in Planning: Hezbollah's Reconstruction of Haret Hreik (Beirut, Lebanon) as Case Study.
    Mona Fawaz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 17, 2014
    This research looks at post‐2006‐war reconstruction of the southern suburbs of Beirut under the auspices of Hezbollah (the Islamic resistance movement in Lebanon). The project was widely acclaimed as an alternative to current neoliberal planning practices in the Middle East and beyond. Based on a critical reading of the conception of property issues in this planning project, the article argues that this reconstruction presents a new geometry or alternative to the mainstream configuration of neoliberal urbanism, rather than a departure from its precepts. The reason for this is that the adopted language of property corresponds closely with the conception of property advocated by neoliberal planning, one that enshrines private, individual ownership as sacred and desirable and that works to strengthen its model in the city. I further argue that the ‘neoliberal planning regime’ within which Hezbollah's urban intervention occurs is not accidental; rather, it is necessary for the party's control of this space's future and for consolidating its territory in the city. It is hence expected that Hezbollah's planning in the city will produce the same decried effects as neoliberal planning elsewhere in the city rather than usher an innovative, progressive model of planning.
    February 17, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12114   open full text
  • Whose Right to Jerusalem?
    Gillad Rosen, Anne B. Shlay.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 06, 2014
    Jerusalem is a city mired in spatial conflict. Its contested spaces represent deep conflicts among groups that vary by national identity, religion, religiosity and gender. The omnipresent nature of these conflicts provides an opportunity to look at Henri Lefebvre's concept of the right to the city (RTC). The RTC has been adopted and celebrated as a political tool for positive change, enabling communities to take control of space. Based on extensive fieldwork and in‐depth interviews, this article explores the complexity of the RTC principles and examines three urban battlefields in Jerusalem — Bar‐Ilan Street, the Kotel and the Orient House. The RTC is a powerful idea, providing the opportunity to examine people's everyday activities within the context of how space can be used to support their lives. Yet Jerusalem's myriad divisions produce claims by different groups to different parts of the city. In Jerusalem, the RTC is not a clear vision but a kaleidoscope of rights that produces a fragmented landscape within a religious and ethno‐national context governed by the nation state — Israel. The growth of cultural and ethnic diversity in urban areas may limit the possibility for a unified RTC to emerge in an urban sea of demands framed by difference. Space‐based cultural conflict exemplifies urban divisions and exacerbates claims to ‘my Jerusalem’, not ‘our Jerusalem’. Identity‐based claims to the RTC appear to work against, not for, a universalistic RTC.
    January 06, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12093   open full text
  • Back to Little Havana: Controlling Gentrification in the Heart of Cuban Miami.
    Marcos Feldman, Violaine Jolivet.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 06, 2014
    In this article we examine the nature and implementation of governing strategies to control the gentrification of Little Havana, the symbolic heart of Cuban Miami. We ask how Cuban American power relations at the neighborhood level operate to ‘produce’ the citizen best suited to fulfill and help reproduce policies and practices of ‘securing’ in order to gentrify Little Havana. Based on long‐term ethnographic research in Little Havana and Miami, our analysis reveals how governance operates through neighborhood‐level intermediaries and interpersonal relations. We apply Foucault's ‘pastoral power’ to Miami's Cuban exile community in order to explain how the ‘Cuban‐ness’ and ‘Latin‐ness’ of governing relations and the personification of political power are crucial to socio‐spatial control in Little Havana. Elites shape the conduct of individuals in order to achieve strategic goals in the name of community interest. Residents are key partners in the relational ensemble that governs and disciplines the neighborhood comprised mostly of low‐income, Central‐American immigrants.
    January 06, 2014   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12097   open full text
  • How does(n't) Urban Shrinkage get onto the Agenda? Experiences from Leipzig, Liverpool, Genoa and Bytom.
    Matthias Bernt, Annegret Haase, Katrin Großmann, Matthew Cocks, Chris Couch, Caterina Cortese, Robert Krzysztofik.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 16, 2013
    This article discusses the question of how urban shrinkage gets onto the agenda of public‐policy agencies. It is based on a comparison of the agenda‐setting histories of four European cities, Liverpool (UK), Leipzig (Germany), Genoa (Italy) and Bytom (Poland), which have all experienced severe population losses but show very different histories with respect to how local governments reacted to them. We use the political‐science concepts of ‘systemic vs. institutional agendas’ and ‘policy windows’ as a conceptual frame to compare these experiences. The article demonstrates that shrinkage is hardly ever responded to in a comprehensive manner but rather that policies are only implemented in a piecemeal way in selected fields. Moreover, it is argued that variations in institutional contexts and political dynamics lead to considerable differences with regard to the chances of making shrinkage a matter of public intervention. Against this background, the article takes issue with the idea that urban shrinkage only needs to be ‘accepted’ by policymakers who would need to overcome their growth‐oriented cultural perceptions, as has been suggested in a number of recent writings, and calls for a more differentiated, context‐sensitive view.
    December 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12101   open full text
  • Generational Dimensions of Neoliberal and Post‐Fordist Restructuring: The Changing Characteristics of Young Adults and Growing Income Inequality in Montreal and Vancouver.
    Markus Moos.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 20, 2013
    There is growing concern over income inequality and its generational dimensions. Post‐Fordist and neoliberal restructuring have reshaped urban labour markets, resulting in growing inequalities that disproportionately afflict younger workers. This article empirically analyses the transition as experienced in Montreal and Vancouver, two Canadian cities that have undergone restructuring in different ways. The study of young adults' changing incomes reveals growing intra‐ and inter‐cohort inequality, and an increasing intergenerational income gap in both cities. Income inequality is greater in Vancouver, with its more pronounced post‐Fordist labour force composition and neoliberalized governance context. Known factors such as occupation and gender affect the earnings structure, but educational attainment has increased the most in terms of its effect on incomes. Inequalities among young adults are expected to magnify in the future due to unevenness in educational attainment. Urban research ought to pay close attention to the role of education in structuring inequalities, and the ways the impact of restructuring is unevenly distributed across generations.
    November 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12088   open full text
  • Building Innovation Excellence of World Class: The Cluster as an Instrument of Spatial Governance in the European Union.
    Toni Ahlqvist.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 12, 2013
    European spatial governance is becoming an intriguing mix of ideas from the economic, political and cultural spheres. This article asserts that, in the EU's spatial planning, the cluster is increasingly part of a hybrid spatial politics, here named the ‘cluster gaze’, based on the interplay of innovation‐oriented political rationality and spatial governance. To study this process, the article provides an empirical investigation into selected EU documentation. The investigation is based on two perspectives. First, the cluster is analysed as a mediating instrument to stimulate and rescale transnational market developments in the EU. Second, the cluster is studied as an instrument of spatial management — one that builds on a business managerial ethos and endorses a specific hierarchical spatial imaginary and a cluster evidence base to assess the productivity and efficiency of European clusters. Both of these perspectives pave the way for a European ‘politics of cluster excellence’ that is about the constant sharpening of cluster practices, continuous evaluation and ranking, and the enhancement of cluster performance to rise from the ‘European league’ towards the ‘world class’.
    November 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12100   open full text
  • Understanding Urban Processes in Flint, Michigan: Approaching ‘Subaltern Urbanism’ Inductively.
    Seth Schindler.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 30, 2013
    Ananya Roy introduces the concept ‘subaltern urbanism’ in her 2011 article ‘Slumdog Cities: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism’. She challenges researchers to move beyond existing epistemological and methodological limits, and offers four concepts which, taken together, serve as a useful starting point for understanding and representing subaltern urban space. In this article I argue that instead of a deductive approach that begins with an a priori identification of slums as subaltern urban space, an inductive approach of identifying subaltern urban space would expand the concept and show that subaltern urbanism exists in the global North. I present original research to show that Flint, Michigan, can be considered subaltern urban space. In the final section of the article I argue that this inductive approach to subaltern urbanism can foster comparative research across the North‐South divide, and generate the transfer of knowledge from South to North.
    August 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12082   open full text
  • Facilitative Leadership and the Challenge of Renewing Local Democracy in Italy.
    Sonia Bussu, Koen P.R. Bartels.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 06, 2013
    Participatory arrangements have become a popular way of addressing modern challenges of urban governance but in practice face several constraints and can trigger deep tensions. Facilitative leadership can play a crucial role in enabling collaboration among local stakeholders despite plural and often conflictual interests. Surprisingly, this style of leadership has received limited attention within debates linking urban governance and participatory democracy. We summarize the main insights of the literature on facilitative leadership and empirically develop them in the context of participatory urban governance by comparing recent participatory processes in two Italian cities. Whereas in one city facilitative leadership gradually emerged and successfully transformed a deep conflict into consensual proposals, in the other city, participatory planning further exacerbated pre‐existing antagonism, and local democratic culture was only later slowly reinvigorated through bottom‐up initiative. These diverging pathways explain how facilitative leadership is: (1) important for making things happen; (2) best understood as situated practices; (3) an emergent property of the practices and interactions of a number of local actors and (4) a democratic capacity for dealing with continuous challenges. Key to this style of leadership is understanding participatory urban governance as an ongoing democratic process.
    August 06, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12070   open full text
  • Urban Geographies of Hesitant Transition: Tracing Socioeconomic Segregation in Post‐Ceauşescu Bucharest.
    Szymon Marcińczak, Michael Gentile, Samuel Rufat, Liviu Chelcea.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 06, 2013
    Scholars have raised concerns about the social costs of the transition from state socialism to capitalism in Central and Eastern Europe, and geographers are particularly interested in the spatial expressions and implications of these costs, including apparently increasing residential segregation. Applying a range of segregation measures to 1992 and 2002 census data, this contribution studies socio‐occupational residential segregation in Bucharest. The conclusion is that Bucharest was relatively socio‐spatially mixed at both times; in fact, a modest, yet fully legible, decreasing overall trend is observable. This is at odds with many popular assumptions of the past 20 years.
    August 06, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12073   open full text
  • The Border as a Resource in the Global Urban Space: A Contribution to the Cross‐Border Metropolis Hypothesis.
    Christophe Sohn.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 02, 2013
    In a globalized urban world, cross‐border metropolises represent a spatial configuration emblematic of the interplay between the space of flows and the space of places. The multiplicity of contexts and processes at work can complicate the identification of what constitutes the singularity of the concept. In order to contribute to these reflections the present article hypothesizes that the specificity of cross‐border metropolises does not fundamentally stem from the form they take or the nature of the cross‐border integration at work, but rather from the particular role played by national borders in their formation. Opening up borders offers new opportunities for border cities and urban border regions to reinforce their positions at the heart of global economic networks, and to affirm their autonomy as cross‐border regional entities. Without minimizing the possible obstructive effects of borders, it is helpful to recognize that they might also represent a resource in the composition of cross‐border metropolitan regions.
    August 02, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12071   open full text
  • The Violence of Abstract Space: Contested Regional Developments in Southern Mexico.
    Japhy Wilson.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2013
    The article proposes a reinterpretation of Henri Lefebvre's concept of abstract space, emphasizing the significance of the ‘violence of abstraction’ within the concept itself, and within the concrete process of the capitalist production of space. This interpretation of abstract space is developed through the case of the Plan Puebla Panama (PPP) as an ‘actually existing’ abstract space. Launched in 2001 and abandoned in 2008, the PPP was a regional development programme for southern Mexico and Central America, which aimed to transform this region from a peripheral zone of peasant agriculture and social unrest into a modernized node of the global economy through the construction of infrastructure networks and the restructuring of economic activity. Focusing on southern Mexico, I explore the symbolic, structural and direct forms of violence embodied in the PPP: its abstraction from the lived spaces of the region; its incorporation of the region into global circuits of capital; and its repression of a network of place‐based resistances.
    July 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12023   open full text
  • The Changing Nature of Border, Scale and the Production of Hong Kong's Water Supply System since 1959.
    Nelson K. Lee.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2013
    This article investigates the making of Hong Kong's water supply system since 1959. It starts by assessing the perspectives provided by the regime approach and the political ecology literatures. The case of Hong Kong brings in ideas from border studies and draws attention to the changing nature of the border to explain socio‐ecological and scaling interactions. The case study maps the border relationship between China and Hong Kong (and Britain), and the political tussle between them over the control of water supply to the city in the late colonial period 1959–78, which resulted in the creation of a localized self‐sufficient water supply system in Hong Kong, and the consolidation of Hong Kong's scale as a colonial city‐state under British rule. It further explicates the change in the nature of the political border since 1979, and the processes by which Hong Kong abandoned attempts to strengthen its local supply, becoming dependent on supply from the regional Dongjiang water networks, as well as the transformation of its scale to become a subordinate of the larger political unit in subsequent years.
    July 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12060   open full text
  • Planning Discourse versus Land Discourse: The 2009–12 Reforms in Land‐Use Planning Policy and Land Policy in Israel.
    Ravit Hananel.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 11, 2013
    Land policy and land‐use planning policy are two types of public policy pertaining to space. In general, land‐use planning policy deals with land‐use allocation and property rights, whereas land policy defines the land regime of a society. These differences have shaped a unique discourse for each of these policy types. The purpose of this article is to examine the differences and similarities between the land discourse and the planning discourse by analyzing two public campaigns conducted in Israel against two proposed reforms: the 2009 reform of the Israel Land Administration and the 2010–12 reform of the Planning and Building Law. The findings reveal substantive differences between the two campaigns, manifested in the nature of the leading players, the types of public activities they chose, and most notably in the discourses and the hierarchy of considerations they addressed. The findings raise profound questions regarding universal trends in spatial policy reforms; their influence on the activities of public coalitions and the discourses they adopted; possible future effects of these trends on the differences between the land discourse and the planning discourse; and the impact of these trends on the ability of groups and individuals elsewhere to influence spatial policies (such as planning and land policies).
    July 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12011   open full text
  • Gentrification in Spain and Latin America — a Critical Dialogue.
    Michael Janoschka, Jorge Sequera, Luis Salinas.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 08, 2013
    Major social and political transformations such as the shift towards neoliberal urban policies have widely altered the contemporary structuring of metropolitan areas in Spain and Latin America. One key consequence is the recapture of city centres by wealthy tenants and the eviction of poorer households, a phenomenon usually designated by the term gentrification. In comparison to the comprehensive documentation of gentrification in the Anglophone environment, few scholars have paid attention to this phenomenon in this area of the world so far. This article responds to this gap, providing an exhaustive revision of the debates about gentrification occurring in Spain and Latin America during the last decade and tracking two theoretical motivations. First, it stresses the necessity of characterizing gentrification discourses in Spain and Latin America, preparing a conceptual appropriation and contextualization of the term itself. Second, it confirms that gentrification in Spain and Latin America varies substantially from processes observed in the Anglophone world. As a result, the review develops insights into emancipating and challenging debates that remain useful for the mainstream gentrification discourse too. Addressing this, it proposes a reconsideration and repoliticization of gentrification through the territorial and linguistic lens of Spanish and Latin American researchers.
    July 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12030   open full text
  • Thermal Eco‐cities: Green Building and Urban Thermal Metabolism.
    Federico Caprotti, Joanna Romanowicz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 08, 2013
    Eco‐city projects are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the globe and are often marketed as ‘new’ urban environments focused on achieving sustainable urban living while promoting environmental–economic transitions towards a low‐carbon technological and industrial base. The article argues for the need to consider the thermal aspects of urban metabolism, while at the same time focusing on the link between individual buildings and eco‐city master plans and wider economic development strategies at a state level. In so doing, the article encourages critical analysis of eco‐city design and planning, while keeping a focus on the role of specific building structures within eco‐cities as examples of the intermeshing of what can be termed a ‘political ecology of scale’ which stretches from specific buildings' climatic characteristics, to the metabolic master plan for eco‐cities, to provincial, regional and state‐level plans for the integration of eco‐cities within wider economic and political development trajectories. The article focuses on Masdar, in Abu Dhabi, an eco‐city under construction at the time of writing.
    July 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12049   open full text
  • Maintaining Climate Change Experiments: Urban Political Ecology and the Everyday Reconfiguration of Urban Infrastructure.
    Vanesa Castán Broto, Harriet Bulkeley.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 08, 2013
    Climate change governance is increasingly being conducted through urban climate change experiments, purposive interventions that seek to reconfigure urban sociotechnical systems to achieve low‐carbon and resilient cities. In examining how experiments take effect, we suggest that we need to understand not only how they are made and assembled, but also how they are maintained within specific urban contexts. Drawing on literatures from urban political ecology and the specific debate on urban repair and maintenance, this article examines maintenance in two case studies of climate change experiments in housing in Bangalore (India) and Monterrey (Mexico). We find that maintenance is a crucial process through which not only urban obduracy is preserved, but also the novel and innovative character of the experiment is asserted and reproduced. The process of ‘maintaining’ experiments is a precarious one, which requires a continuous external input in terms of remaking the experiment materially and discursively. This process causes further reconfigurations beyond the experiment, changing the patterns of responsibility attribution and acceptability that configure the urban fabric.
    July 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12050   open full text
  • How Did Finance Capital Infiltrate the World of the Urban Poor? Homeownership and Social Fragmentation in a Spanish Neighborhood.
    Jaime Palomera.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 08, 2013
    When working‐class localities in developed countries are in question, social fragmentation is often analyzed along ethnic lines. Instead, this article claims that it is more critically fruitful to explore fragmentation in terms of people's relations with the state and different forms of capital. It does this by considering housing in Spain as a key resource that connects state policies both with the forms of reproduction and (dis)organization of the disadvantaged, and with the development of real estate and finance capital. First, it unfolds the historical formation of the Spanish ‘homeownership culture’ and the construction–finance complex. Second, starting from an in‐depth ethnography of a peripheral neighborhood in Barcelona, it emphasizes the embeddedness of recent financialization in the livelihood strategies of poor households. Finally, it shows how the process led to a commodification and erosion of those social relations on which it partially depended, thereby exposing problems for class reproduction and fracture lines among the urban poor.
    July 08, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12055   open full text
  • Beyond the Global City Concept and the Myth of ‘Command and Control’.
    Richard G. Smith.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 19, 2013
    The article argues that the lack of convincing empirical evidence for the global economy as being subject to ‘command and control’ results from that contention being a neo‐Marxist myth. First, imagining the global economy as being subject to ‘highly concentrated command’ through the function of some major cities as ‘strategic sites’ for the production of ‘command and control’ is traced back through several neo‐Marxist authors to narrate its genesis, and to argue that the lack of evidence for that proposition is a consequence of those antecedents envisioning capitalism as a totalizing structure, thus making the assumption that it is subject to control and coordination from a distance. Second, Taylor's interlocking world city network model is forensically examined to explain that it is fallacious because it is a structuralism that, bedevilled by a sorites paradox, contains the further problem of containing no credible evidence for the existence of ‘command centres’. Finally, the article moves beyond neo‐Marxism's key concepts by juxtaposing their assumptions with ethnographic results from social studies of finance, a manoeuvre which forges an understanding of cities as socio‐technical assemblages and eventful multiplicities, beyond, inter alia, the baseless assumption that the global economy is subject to ‘command and control’.
    June 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12024   open full text
  • Relating a City's History and Geography with Bourdieu: One Hundred Years of Spatial Distinction in Tel Aviv.
    Nathan Marom.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 19, 2013
    This article advances a conceptualization of spatial distinction that, following Bourdieu, relates principles of division in ‘social space’ with formations of segregation in urban space. It applies this interpretive framework to concisely narrate the one hundred years' history of spatial distinction in Tel Aviv. Analyzing five moments in the city's development, it focuses on a dominant principle of distinction in each period and its ensuing segregations: predominantly ethno‐national (Jewish–Arab) distinction that established Tel Aviv in opposition to Jaffa at the turn of the twentieth century; nuanced ethno‐class distinction that shaped the city's rapid growth in the 1920s–30s and created an elaborate socio‐spatial hierarchy of neighborhoods; institutionalized distinction that governed the collective supply of housing in the 1930s–40s, evolving into a complex system of housing classifications; ‘distinction‐by‐distance’ through exclusive suburbanization and the emergence of a metropolitan scale of distinction in the 1950s–70s; and a ‘back‐to‐the‐center’ strategy of distinction by way of gentrification in the 1980s–90s and within gated residential enclaves at the beginning of the twenty‐first century. Through this concise history, various principles, mechanisms and scales of spatial distinction are elaborated upon, as a way to think about the socially constructed, historically contingent and continuously changing divisions and segregations in cities.
    June 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12027   open full text
  • The ‘Black Metropolis’ in the American Urban System of the Early Twentieth Century: Harlem, Bronzeville and Beyond.
    Robert L. Boyd.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 17, 2013
    By defining and measuring a dimension of the Black Metropolis in terms of occupational representation, this study advances research on the urban black communities of the early twentieth‐century United States. Census data show that: (1) Bronzeville (Chicago) was the premier Black Metropolis overall and the black communities of urban‐industrial centers in the Midwest had locational advantages that rivaled those of Harlem (New York) with respect to the rise of the black professional and entrepreneurial classes; (2) The standing of Harlem as a preeminent Black Metropolis was due mainly to opportunities generated by unique features of New York that aided blacks' entry into an extensive array of artistic, entertainment and mass media occupations; (3) The black community of Washington, DC, was the only substantial Black Metropolis below the Mason‐Dixon Line because of advantages that derived from the city's location above areas of the lower South and from its status as the capital of the US federal government; (4) In general, the northern Black Metropolis was characterized more by opportunities for blacks to participate in politics and public life and to create vital cultural institutions than by opportunities for blacks to economically gain through professions or businesses.
    June 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12048   open full text
  • Competing Visions of Community: Empowerment and Abandonment in the Governance of Coalfield Regeneration.
    Heike Doering.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 11, 2013
    This article engages with recent debates which assert that community participation and empowerment are place‐contingent. The particular nature of localities has regularly been taken to account for success or failure in processes of participation and regeneration. In contrast, this article exposes the failings based in the nature of the process of regeneration in the complex intersection of national agendas of community participation, regional objectives of economic growth and local aspirations of social cohesion and improved amenities. These agendas meet in the seemingly mutual pursuit of the ‘active community’. They become manifest in the micro‐politics of negotiating and enacting different constructions of community by the different actors ‘empowered’ in the regeneration process: regional development agencies, local government and local civil society. The article is based on ethnographic research in the Kent coalfield. The coalfields as distinct places have commanded a lasting place in the academic and policy literature: romanticized as the epitome of ‘communityness’ but demonized as the site of problem groups. This otherness has outlasted the industry the communities were built on. The analysis here shows that the social organization of regeneration in an arguably ‘different’ place is less driven by local specificities than by a failure to make visible conflicting constructions of community; therefore both the pathologizing of disadvantaged social groups and calls for more ‘community’ in policy delivery rather than policy reform are called into question.
    June 11, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12035   open full text
  • Urban Segregation and Metropolitics in Latin America: The Case of Bogotá, Colombia.
    Joel Thibert, Giselle Andrea Osorio.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 04, 2013
    The patterns of spatial socioeconomic segregation in Latin American cities are changing rapidly as a result of suburbanization and metropolization. However, the political consequences of these urban spatial processes are not well understood. This article uses Orfield's framework of analysis to test the hypothesis that spatial segregation at the metropolitan level is driving political polarization between Latin American cities and their suburbs. With Bogotá as a testing ground, we look for evidence that the mechanisms described by Orfield are at play. We conclude that metropolitan spatial segregation does not drive metropolitan politics in Bogotá and explore some of the theoretical implications thereof.
    June 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12021   open full text
  • Urban Responses to The Economic Crisis: Confirmation of Urban Policies as Crisis Management in Malmö.
    Ståle Holgersen.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 03, 2013
    It is common knowledge that crisis also signifies opportunity and opens spaces for change. When responding to the current economic crisis, is urban planning seizing this opportunity? This article investigates the case of the Swedish city of Malmö and explores its responses to the crisis by looking dialectically at the crisis, municipal planning policy and real‐estate capital. In this article, the local state and urban planning are regarded as social relations, with the aim of going beyond traditional formulations that oppose market (neoliberal) and state intervention (Keynesianism) as the main focus for crisis management. Against this background, the article shows that the 2008 crisis was met in Malmö by an active municipality that confirmed the existing visions and tendencies, rather than exploiting the crisis as a moment for changes and transformation. The article seeks to explain this by looking at the social relations that have constituted the urban policies in Malmö for the past two decades.
    June 03, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12029   open full text
  • Living on the Edge: Lessons from the Peri‐urban Village.
    Suzanne Vallance.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 03, 2013
    The idea of an urban renaissance — based on a celebration of city life and its possibilities — is timely given half of the world's population now resides in urban areas. Yet, as appealing as this prospect may be, both in principle and planning theory, it remains at odds with the desires of many residents who seek ‘lifestyle living’ in low‐density suburban or ex‐urban settings. This article presents the results of a qualitative investigation of what it means to ‘live on the edge’ in a peri‐urban village, as understood by residents living in those settings. These results are evaluated in light of phenomenological literature on authentic and inauthentic places, and the myriad reasons so‐called amenity migrants choose the peri‐urban village as their preferred residential location. The results of in‐depth interviews with 28 residents are presented as a four‐part typology of ‘active’ lifestylers and those searching for community, and ‘passive’ speculators and those seeking a civilized society. Though prior work suggests people are attracted to the peri‐urban village for its bio‐physical environmental features, this research suggests socioeconomic factors and opportunities for active place‐making experiences are as, if not more, important.
    June 03, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12036   open full text
  • Raising the Regional Leviathan: A Relational‐Materialist Conceptualization of Regions‐in‐Becoming as Publics‐in‐Stabilization.
    Jonathan Metzger.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 27, 2013
    The purpose of this article is to contribute to the understanding of how spatial entities in general — and those spatial entities that are defined as ‘regions’ in particular — form, evolve and sometimes stabilize. Inspired by the scholarship of Noortje Marres, the article explores how regions‐in‐becoming may be gainfully conceptualized as publics‐in‐stabilization. In the article it is argued that some of the mechanisms involved in such processes pertain to how territorially framed issues sometimes become formulated as loosely articulated propositions for regionalization. These can, with time, generate emergent stakeholder communities, which in turn may become stabilized and delegated to more durable forms and materials which can eventually become naturalized as recognized regions. A suggested conceptual model is utilized to perform an analysis of empirical material from three contemporary processes of regionalization in Northern Europe with the purpose of examining and discussing some of the potential merits and shortcomings of the conceptual model. It is concluded that adopting the proposed perspective can enable scholars to highlight some of the mechanisms whereby vague and non‐coherent propositions for regionalization within time may be singularized and stabilized to such a degree that they become taken for granted as naturalized spatialities.
    May 27, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12038   open full text
  • Wild Dragons in the City: Urban Political Economy, Affordable Housing Development and the Performative World‐making of Economic Models.
    Brett Christophers.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 27, 2013
    This article explores the potential to mobilize in an urban context the key insights of the burgeoning literature on the performativity of economics. It argues that our understanding of contemporary urban political‐economic transformation needs to explicitly recognize the active role of economics in making and remaking the urban world, as opposed to merely describing and analysing it in some kind of passive, detached fashion. It develops this argument through the elaboration of a case study of just such world‐making in action: the growing use in the United Kingdom, since the early 2000s, of economic models for assessing the viability of affordable housing provision in new residential developments. The world of urban redevelopment that such models attempt to describe formulaically has, the article submits, increasingly come to act according to the model and the assumptions it contains; the model, in this sense, has been progressively actualized in the urban landscape. The article conceptualizes such performative economic models as examples of what Michel Callon calls economics ‘in the wild’, and it focuses on the work of the leading commercial developer and marketer of such models in the affordable housing planning environment over the last decade — a consulting company called Three Dragons.
    May 27, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12037   open full text
  • Delivering Flagship Projects in an Era of Regulatory Capitalism: State‐led Privatization and the London Olympics 2012.
    Mike Raco.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 27, 2013
    Much of the urban studies literature on the London Olympics has focused on its social legacies and the top‐down nature of policy agendas. This article explores one element that has been less well covered — the contractual dynamics and delivery networks that have shaped infrastructure provision. Drawing on interviews and freedom of information requests, this article explores the mechanisms involved in the project's delivery and their implications for broader understandings of urban politics and policymaking. It assesses contemporary writings on regulatory capitalism, public–private networks and new contractual spaces to frame the empirical discussion. This article argues that the London Olympic model has been characterized by the prioritization of delivery over representative democracy. Democratic imperatives, such as those around sustainability and employment rights, have been institutionally re‐placed and converted into contractual requirements on firms. This form of state‐led privatization of the development process represents a new, and for some, potentially more effective mode of governance than those offered by traditional systems of regulation and management.
    May 27, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12025   open full text
  • Paying for Pipes, Claiming Citizenship: Political Agency and Water Reforms at the Urban Periphery.
    Malini Ranganathan.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 27, 2013
    This article interrogates the nature of political agency deployed at sites of market‐oriented water reforms. It presents a case study from Bangalore, India of a water project mandating significant ‘beneficiary’ cash contributions from lower‐middle‐class dwellers for the capital cost of extending piped water to the city's peripheries. Drawing on quantitative and ethnographic data, it illustrates why property owners who lack formal water access and land tenure — groups referred to in this article as the ‘peripheralized middle class’ — consent to paying for pipes rather than resist all together despite the high cost involved. It argues that far from reflecting an internalization of a ‘willingness to pay’ or ‘stakeholder’ ethos celebrated by development practitioners today, payment for water provides an insurgent means to bargain for greater symbolic recognition, respectability and material benefits from the state. In particular, payment for pipes enables peripheral dwellers to strengthen their claims to secure land tenure in an era of exclusionary and punitive spatial policies. Payment thus comprises a terrain of contested meaning making and political struggle, at the heart of which lie the stakes of urban citizenship. In documenting the process by which property related interests and tenure claims are advanced under a scenario of reforms, this article contributes to Gramscian political‐ecological conversations on subaltern political agency and the lived character of hegemony in urban environments.
    May 27, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12028   open full text
  • When Mayors Go Global: International Strategies, Urban Governance and Leadership.
    Vincent Beal, Gilles Pinson.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 24, 2013
    An enigma lies at the heart of this article. In December 2006, the mayor of Saint‐Étienne, Michel Thiollière, was elected as the fifth best mayor in the world by the internet site City Mayors. Yet no publicity was made locally around this award. Taking this anecdote as a starting point, this article deals with the motivations that can lead a city mayor to become involved in urban international relationships' policy (city twinning, participation in cities networks, study trips, etc.). On the one hand these activities provide resources for building up political legitimacy and for electoral control, and on the other they provide resources for policy solutions to urban problems in the public realm. Nevertheless, in a context of transformation of the process of legitimization of urban elected officials, the second kind of resources seems to be the most sought after in mayoral involvement in international activities.
    May 24, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12018   open full text
  • Politics in the Informalizing Metropolis: Displacement, Resettlement and Unstable Negotiations in Uncivil Ahmedabad.
    Caleb Johnston.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 23, 2013
    This article documents the displacement of Baoris, an adivasi (indigenous) community living in the city of Ahmedabad, India, and their subsequent resettlement along the city's precarious urban–rural frontier. I argue that this process signals the informalization of rights and territories, representing a political regime of governing in the remaking of the contemporary Indian metropolis. Recent actions taken by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation to evict Baoris from the inner city are situated within the entangled processes and politics of urban restructuring, liberalization and Hindu nationalism. The absence and erosion of democratic protections, however, has not precluded the possibility of political negotiations with the local agents of state and capital, and this article assesses the tactics that community residents have deployed in their bid to maintain claims to territory, labour and services. I end by tempering enthusiasm for the informalizing city as a site for realizing alternative forms of justice and possible democratization.
    May 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12010   open full text
  • The ‘Graying’ of ‘Green’ Zones: Spatial Governance and Irregular Settlement in Xochimilco, Mexico City.
    Jill Wigle.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 23, 2013
    This article details the evolving social and spatial dynamics of a planning approach that is now being used to regulate irregular or informal settlements in the conservation zone of Xochimilco in the Federal District of Mexico City. As part of the elaboration of ‘normative’ planning policies and practices, this approach counts, maps and then classifies irregular settlements into different categories with distinct land‐use regularization possibilities. These spatial calculations establish a continuum of ‘gray’ spaces, placing many settlements in a kind of planning limbo on so‐called ‘green’ conservation land. The research suggests that these spatial calculations are now an important part of enacting land‐use planning and presenting a useful ‘technical’ veneer through which the state negotiates competing claims to space. Based on a case study of an irregular settlement, the article examines how the state is implicated in the production and regulation of irregularity as part of a larger strategy of spatial governance. The research explores how planning ‘knowledges’ and ‘techniques’ help to create fragmented but ‘governable’ spaces that force communities to compete for land‐use regularization. The analysis raises questions about the conception of informality as something that, among other things, simply takes place outside of the formal planning system.
    May 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12019   open full text
  • Urbanizing Refuge: Interrogating Spaces of Displacement.
    Romola Sanyal.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 23, 2013
    Refugee spaces are emerging as quintessential geographies of the modern, yet their intimate and everyday spatialities remain under‐explored. Rendered largely through geopolitical discourses, they are seen as biopolitical spaces where the sovereign can reduce the subject to bare life. In conceptualizing refugee spaces some scholars have argued that, although many camps grow and develop over time, they evolve their own unique form of urbanism that is still un‐urban. This article challenges this idea of the camp as space of pure biopolitics and explores the politics of space in the refugee camp using urban debates. Using case studies from the Middle East and South Asia, it looks at how the refugee spaces developed and became informalized, and how people recovered their agency through ‘producing spaces’ both physically and politically. In doing so, it draws connections between refugee camps and other spaces of urban marginality, and suggests that refugee spaces can be seen as important sites for articulating new politics.
    May 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12020   open full text
  • Law, Property and Ambiguity: The Uses and Abuses of Legal Ambiguity in Remaking Istanbul's Informal Settlements.
    Tuna Kuyucu.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 22, 2013
    What is the role of legal ambiguity in the creation and institutionalization of private property regimes? In what ways does the (ab)use of legal ambiguities affect market‐making processes? I address these questions through a detailed analysis of two large‐scale urban renewal projects in Istanbul that impose a formal private property regime on informal settlements. My research reveals that without the strategic utilization of legal ambiguities and administrative arbitrariness by public and private actors, private property cannot be easily created and hence capitalist markets cannot function efficiently. My findings challenge the assumptions of several social science traditions such as neoclassical and neoinstitutionalist economics, as well as most works within the law and economics tradition regarding the relationship between law, property and economic development. These approaches to economic development are underpinned by the legal certainty that private property entails as the most important element for an efficient economic order. However, in their unconditional support for private ownership, they fail to realize the degree of legal ambiguity and administrative arbitrariness needed to create the private property regime in the first place. As such their arguments remain theoretically and empirically incomplete. A more complete analysis of the relationship between law and economic dynamics must focus on how private property is constructed, and the extent to which legal ambiguities and loopholes are utilized in this process.
    May 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12026   open full text
  • Decentralization is Dead, Long Live Decentralization! Capital City Reform and Political Rights in Kampala, Uganda.
    Christopher D. Gore, Nansozi K. Muwanga.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 12, 2013
    African cities are currently experiencing some of the highest population growth rates in the world. Accompanying this growth is constant and continuing pressure on national and local governments to develop political and institutional structures that respond to the multiple demands this demographic change provokes in relation to service delivery, economic development and social wellbeing. In response to these challenges, national governments are reviewing the political and administrative structures of their capital cities, sometimes recentralizing authority. This article examines the reforms to Kampala, capital city of Uganda. The article explains how the national government gradually created the legal conditions necessary to take over the capital city directly, and the political rhetoric and conflict that ensued. We argue that while Kampala had deep internal problems and fared poorly in service delivery, matters were exacerbated by the national government's historical indifference to the city. Moreover, past service delivery failures offered an easy rationale for recentralizing authority. We demonstrate that this recentralization was a well‐planned effort by the central government to regain political control of the capital city. This article illustrates how the national government's recentralization of authority in Kampala is a significant departure from its longstanding policy of democratic decentralization.
    May 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12012   open full text
  • Dynamics of Inventor Networks and the Evolution of Technology Clusters.
    Jiang He, M. Hosein Fallah.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. April 30, 2013
    Clusters are important drivers of regional economic growth. Although their benefits are well recognized, research into their evolution is still ongoing. Most real‐world clusters seem to have emerged spontaneously without deliberate policy interventions, each cluster having its own evolutionary path. Since there is a significant gap in our understanding of the forces driving their evolution, this study uses a quantitative approach to investigate the role of inventor collaboration networks in it. Inventor collaboration networks for 30 top‐performing American metropolitan clusters were constructed on the basis of patent co‐authorship data. The selected clusters operate in hi‐tech fields: information technology, communications equipment and the biopharmaceutical industry. Starting from a widely accepted hypothesis that the ‘small‐world’ structure is an optimal one for knowledge spillovers and promotes innovation effectively, the authors statistically tested the impact of ‘small‐world’ network properties on cluster innovation performance proxied by patent output. The results suggest that the effect of the small‐world structure is not as significant as theorists hypothesized, not all clusters benefit from the presence of inventor collaboration networks, and cluster performance can be affected by policy interventions. Our analyses also suggest that cluster typology moderates the impact of inventor network properties on cluster innovation performance.
    April 30, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12007   open full text
  • Glorified Fantasies and Masterpieces of Deception on Importing Las Vegas into the ‘New South Africa’.
    Albert S. Fu, Martin J. Murray.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 26, 2013
    With the end of apartheid, Johannesburg and other South African cities are now part of a new global race to become ‘world‐class’ tourist and business centers. At the center of this development is the importation of Vegas‐style spectacle by local entrepreneurs, firms and other city boosters who create fantasyscapes such as the Emperor's Palace and GrandWest. Financed and run by South African impresarios — whose luxurious empires transcend the continent — these resorts represent not only the globalization of gaming but the way in which South African cities see themselves within the worldwide urban hierarchy. As such, this article seeks to untangle the global and local aspects of importing fantasy into the ‘new South Africa’.
    March 26, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12006   open full text
  • Towards an Agenda for Post‐carbon Cities: Lessons from Lilac, the UK's First Ecological, Affordable Cohousing Community.
    Paul Chatterton.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 25, 2013
    This article explores an agenda towards post‐carbon cities, extending and deepening established debates around low‐carbon, sustainable cities in the process. The label post‐carbon builds upon issues beyond those of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy conservation and climate change, adding a broader set of concerns, including economic justice, behaviour change, wellbeing, land ownership, the role of capital and the state, and community self‐management. The article draws upon a case study of an embryonic post‐carbon initiative completed in early 2013 called Lilac. Based in Leeds, Lilac stands for Low Impact Living Affordable Community and is the first attempt to build an affordable, ecological cohousing project in the UK. Its three aspects each respond to significant challenges: low‐impact living and the challenge of post‐carbon value change; affordability and the challenge of mutualism and equality; and community and the challenge of self‐governance. I conclude the article by exploring six lessons from Lilac that tentatively outline a roadmap towards post‐carbon cities: the need for holistic approaches that deal with complex challenges, prioritizing self‐determination rather than just participation, engaging with productive political tensions, adopting a process rather than an outcomes‐based approach, developing strategy for replicability, and finally, embracing a non‐parochial approach to localities.
    March 25, 2013   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12009   open full text
  • Exclusion and Informality: The Praetorian Politics of Land Management in Cairo, Egypt.
    W.J. Dorman.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 25, 2013
    Since the late 1970s, Western aid agencies, including the US Agency for International Development (AID) and the World Bank, sought to assist the Egyptian government in planning its capital, Cairo. The aim was to foster an administratively competent Egyptian state able to respond, for example, to informal urbanization of the city's agricultural periphery by channelling the city's growth into planned and serviced desert sites. However, these initiatives were almost entirely unsuccessful. Egyptian officials rejected engagement with the informal urbanization process. The projects became enmeshed in bureaucratic struggles over control of valuable state desert land. This article examines these failed planning exercises, first, in order to assess what they indicate about Egypt's authoritarian dispensation of power, in place since 1952 but challenged in the February 2011 overthrow of President Husni Mubarak. It concludes that project failure is diagnostic of the regime's exclusionary nature and the presence of autonomous centres of power such as the Egyptian military. Secondly, the article looks at how this political order shaped Cairo's largely uncontrolled growth by constraining the Egyptian state's capacity to manage it. Thus, urban planning in Cairo reveals how authoritarian power relations have been inscribed upon Egyptian social space.
    February 25, 2013   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01202.x   open full text
  • Governance on the Ground: A Study of Solid Waste Management in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
    Camilla Louise Bjerkli.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 21, 2013
    This article examines the management of solid waste in Addis Ababa from 2004 to mid‐2011. It describes how solid waste management has evolved and how relationships between the informal sector and the local authority have shifted in relation to the political atmosphere in the city. The author shows how good governance promoted by international donors does not necessarily result in improved service delivery on the ground. In line with the principles of good governance, the Ethiopian government decentralized the city's administration and entered into partnerships with non‐state actors in order to improve service delivery. However, these structural changes have not led to improvements in providing services for dealing with solid waste, nor have they improved accountability to or participation by civil society. The study shows that the established ways of exercising power are continuing within the new structures of the city administration, resulting in increased control over the actors involved in the process, and more conflicts and deeper mistrust of the city administration. This, in turn, has prevented the successful integration of the informal sector and provision of an improved solid waste service in the city. The city administration in Addis Ababa claims to have adopted good governance, but in reality it has adapted good governance to suit its own interests and agendas.
    February 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2013.01214.x   open full text
  • Post‐Reunification Restructuring and Corporate Re‐bundling in the Bitterfeld‐Wolfen Chemical Industry, East Germany.
    Harald Bathelt.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 22, 2013
    While earlier research has shown that regional restructuring after reunification has led to broad de‐industrialization processes in eastern Germany's chemical industry, this article focuses on how re‐bundling processes at the corporate level have stimulated adjustments to the changing economic and political environment leading to a renewed regional development trajectory. The analysis is based on a conceptualization that assesses diachronic processes of rupture and re‐bundling by applying a bottom‐up perspective of how corporate adjustments and restructuring processes generate re‐bundling types that manifest themselves in broader regional re‐bundling scenarios. The empirical analysis focuses on a qualitative case study of Bitterfeld‐Wolfen, the eastern region with the largest chemical industry. The research provides evidence that, although new firm formation has remained weak and acquisitions of chemical multinationals have generated structures only tenuously embedded in the regional economy, modernization and re‐bundling process have contributed to a renewed, smaller yet stable, regional chemical industry. The analysis further shows that the associated processes depended on the roles of individual industrial leaders in the region, who acted as network builders, mobilized joint action and stimulated the development of a collective regional spirit.
    January 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01194.x   open full text
  • Transfer Payments without Growth: Evidence for German Regions, 1992–2005.
    Michael Koetter, Michael Wedow.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. January 18, 2013
    After German reunification, interregional subsidies accounted for approximately 4% of gross fixed capital investment in the new federal states (i.e. those which were formerly part of the German Democratic Republic). We show that, between 1992 and 2005, infrastructure and corporate investment subsidies had a negative net impact on regional economic growth and convergence. This result is robust to both the specification of spatially weighted control variables and the use of instrumental variable techniques to control for the endogeneity of subsidies. Our results suggest that regional redistribution was ineffective, potentially due to a lack of spatial concentration to create growth poles.
    January 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01193.x   open full text
  • Be Berlin! Governing the City through Freedom.
    Stephan Lanz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 28, 2012
    In this article, I examine how contemporary Berlin is governed, with a particular focus on the production of urban space. My points of reference are the term ‘government’ (as employed by Foucault) and the field of governmentality studies (where it is applied empirically). Based on a critical discourse and dispositive analysis of the city's current urban development policy, I propose that urban governance in Berlin may be analysed through the lens of three central dispositives: the dispositive of governing through citizenship; the dispositive of the creative city; and the dispositive of the social city. I discuss the characteristics of these dispositives of urban governance, drawing on a number of examples taken from the discipline of urban space production in order to look specifically at the aims and objectives of governance, its subjects and the ways it manifests itself. In conclusion, I suggest that the new forms of governance based on empowerment and cooperation have by no means replaced disciplinary technologies of governance, but are rather embedded within them.
    December 28, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01195.x   open full text
  • From Frontier to Bridgehead: Cross‐border Regions and the Experience of Yunnan, China.
    Xiaobo Su.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 28, 2012
    Drawing on recent theoretical tenets regarding cross‐border regions, this article analyzes China's state spatial policies that aim to transform Yunnan from a peripheral frontier into an economic bridgehead. The purposes of the present study are threefold: to contextualize the formation of Yunnan as China's frontier; to examine why Yunnan has been strategically selected as a bridgehead to promote China's transnational economies; and to explore the central–provincial alliance as an innovative institutional arrangement and look at how this alliance can convert Yunnan into a space of exception or new state space of development. This study finds that in order to convert regional assets into real competitiveness, the Chinese state (national, provincial and local) emphasizes transnational cooperation, endeavors to maximize Yunnan's place‐specific locational advantages and promotes the differentiation of regional developmental trajectories across China's national territory. The article contributes to studies of institutional arrangements for cross‐border cooperation in a non‐Western context and sheds light on China's regional development policies in its hinterland.
    December 28, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01191.x   open full text
  • Neighbourhood Effects as Indirect Effects: Evidence from a Dutch Case Study on the Significance of Neighbourhood for Employment Trajectories.
    Fenne M. Pinkster.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 28, 2012
    One of the key challenges in the study of neighbourhood effects on work is to understand the pathways through which disadvantaged neighbourhoods impact the employment opportunities of residents. Endogenous explanations for neighbourhood effects focus on social life in these neighbourhoods, identifying mechanisms of social isolation, deviant work ethics and neighbourhood disorder. This article studies these mechanisms in a low‐income neighbourhood in the Netherlands. The case study shows that unfavourable socioeconomic outcomes can be indirect and unintended consequences of actions and choices in everyday life that are not directly concerned with work. Nevertheless, these individual actions and choices reflect local social practices that are influenced by the marginalized context in which residents lead their lives.
    December 28, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01197.x   open full text
  • Let Their Voices Be Seen: Exploring Mental Mapping as a Feminist Visual Methodology for the Study of Migrant Women.
    Hyunjoo Jung.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 28, 2012
    This article explores how mental mapping can be used as a critical methodology for feminist migration studies. In a case study of female marriage migrants who settle in rural areas in South Korea from other Asian countries, I attempt to develop mental mapping to supplement verbal interviews. Mental maps of hometowns and current neighborhoods drawn by my interviewees represent their geographical imaginations and complex identity negotiations that mirror the change in their social locations. In order to understand multilayered meanings embedded in the images and the way in which power relations existent between the researcher and the researched affect the map production, I suggest a critical reading of the maps. The article shows how a reflexive and intertextual reading makes a difference to the interpretation of the maps. It argues that the maps are not mere reflections of the women's cognition, but rather socially constructed texts through which their desires, emotions, feelings and internal contradictions are expressed and negotiated. My research suggests that mental mapping, if ethically performed and critically evaluated, has potential as a means to convey the unheard voices of the marginalized to diverse audiences.
    December 28, 2012   doi: 10.1111/1468-2427.12004   open full text
  • Between the Individual and the Community: Residential Patterns of the Haredi Population in Jerusalem.
    Nurit Alfasi, Shlomit Flint Ashery, Itzhak Benenson.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. December 27, 2012
    This article examines how different levels of internal organization are reflected in the residential patterns of different population groups. In this case, the Haredi community comprises sects and sub‐sects, whose communal identity plays a central role in everyday life and spatial organization. The residential preferences of Haredi individuals are strongly influenced by the need to live among ‘friends’ — that is, other members of the same sub‐sect. This article explores the dynamics of residential patterns in two of Jerusalem's Haredi neighbourhoods: Ramat Shlomo, a new neighbourhood on the urban periphery, and Sanhedria, an old yet attractive inner‐city neighbourhood. We reveal two segregation mechanisms: the first is top‐down determination of residence, found in relatively new neighbourhoods that are planned, built and populated with the intense involvement of community leaders; the second is the bottom‐up emergence of residential patterns typical of inner‐city neighbourhoods that have gradually developed over time.
    December 27, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01187.x   open full text
  • Canada's Housing Bubble Story: Mortgage Securitization, the State, and the Global Financial Crisis.
    Alan Walks.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 15, 2012
    Canada's experience during and after the financial crisis appears to distinguish it from its international peers. Canadian real estate sales and values experienced record increases since the global financial crisis emerged in 2008, rather than declines, and Canada did not witness any bank failures. The dominant trope concerning Canada's financial and housing markets is that they are sound, prudent, appropriately regulated and ‘boring but effective’. It is widely assumed that Canadian banks did not need, nor receive, a ‘bailout’, that mortgage lending standards remained high, and that the securitization of mortgages was not widespread. The truth, however, does not accord with this mainstream view. In fact, the Canadian financial and housing markets reveal marked similarities with their international peers. Canada's banks needed, and received, a substantial ‘bailout’, while federal policies before and after the financial crisis resulted in the massive growth of mortgage securitization and record household indebtedness. This article documents the growth of Canada's housing bubble, the history of mortgage securitization, and of government policies implemented before and after the crisis. Instead of making the Canadian financial and housing sectors more resilient and sustainable, the outcomes of state responses are best understood as regressively redistributive.
    November 15, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01184.x   open full text
  • A Smooth Ride? From Industrial to Creative Urbanism in Oshawa, Ontario.
    Elliot Siemiatycki.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 09, 2012
    In mainstream media, policy circles and academic scholarship, economic discourses have highlighted the importance of knowledge, creativity and innovation for generating economic growth. This has been translated into an urban planning and policy agenda which favours the establishment of research parks, innovation clusters, and especially universities along with amenities to attract creative‐class workers. In much of this literature universities are invested with an almost magical power to spur economic growth, and the benign language of ‘transition’ is used suggesting a rather seamless progression from one urban economic engine to another. Through analysis of policy documents and key informant interviews related to the establishment of a new university in Oshawa, Ontario, this case study seeks to challenge the straightforward relationship that is assumed to exist between universities and local economic development. Like other lagging regions across the OECD attempting to repair their economies through creative and knowledge urbanism, Oshawa's recent achievements are tempered by growing concerns about poverty, homelessness and inequality. Planners and policymakers that mistake the complexities of economic restructuring for a smooth ‘urban transition’ put their cities and citizens at risk of creating new problems out of efforts to improve local conditions.
    November 09, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01196.x   open full text
  • The Institution of Hukou‐based Social Exclusion: A Unique Institution Reshaping the Characteristics of Contemporary Urban China.
    Mingqiong Zhang, Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu, Chris Nyland.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. November 09, 2012
    This conceptual article contributes to institutional analysis and the neo‐institutional theory literature by identifying and analysing the linked rules, values, norms and patterned practices that surround and structure the way rural migrant workers are treated in urban areas of China in terms of Scott's integrated model of institutions. It argues that these hukou‐based rules, values, norms and patterned practices that discriminate against rural migrants can be considered to be a unique institution — the institution of hukou‐based social exclusion (IHSE). IHSE has dominated Chinese urban society for 3 decades and significantly shaped the lives of millions of rural migrant workers, the character of contemporary China and the nature of managerial practices among Chinese firms. This is the first article to examine the social exclusion of rural workers from the perspective of neo‐institutionalism, providing the first systematic analysis of the regulative, normative and cognitive dimensions that together socially exclude migrants in urban areas of China. It presents a holistic picture of the newly identified institution that offers new insights into China's urban society and management, and a new starting point for research.
    November 09, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01185.x   open full text
  • Changing Trends in Regional Economic Development Policy Governance: The Case of Northern Ontario, Canada.
    Charles Conteh.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 16, 2012
    This article analyses the changing trends in regional economic development policy delivery in multilevel governance systems. Although the imperatives of coordination of public policy interventions across multiple levels has generally been recognized, not enough attention has been given to how different political systems actually adapt their institutional and policy designs to effectively operate in the emergent complexity of multilevel governance systems. The article focuses on regional economic development policy governance in the province of Ontario, Canada over the past three decades, drawing insights from new regionalism, organization theory and governance literature to examine the prospects and challenges of policy delivery in politically complex multilevel systems. The case study illustrates how regional economic development policy is increasingly dictated by complex environmental and institutional forces of multilevel governance that are shaped by the particular character of a political system.
    October 16, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01183.x   open full text
  • Participatory Democracy, Decentralization and Local Governance: the Montreal Participatory Budget in the light of ‘Empowered Participatory Governance’.
    Caroline Patsias, Anne Latendresse, Laurence Bherer.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 16, 2012
    The intent of this article is to reflect on the notion of empowered participatory governance in order to gain a better understanding of the institutional contexts and parameters that encourage a more participative democracy, and thereby bring to light the political mechanisms that contribute to broadening the decision‐making process. The example we consider is the Montreal Participative Budget (PB). We focus on the impact of decentralization, more specifically on the form this took as the Montreal PB was being elaborated. We examine how much decentralization circumscribes the PB process. The Montreal Participative Budget provides an illustration of the emergence of a participative level in a political context that is, on the whole, hostile to participatory decision making. We suggest that the PB in this context benefits from a new window of opportunity. The chosen example has a dual significance: it underlines the role of temporal contingencies and scales of the process of decentralization in the participative structures at the local level, and it enables us to gain a better grasp of the problem of institutional architectures in implementing participatory democracy by emphasizing the political and social realities underlying new loci for decision making. Résumé Cette réflexion entend participer à l'agenda de recherche autour de la Empowered Participatory Governance lancé par Fung et Wright. Après avoir dressé un bilan d'analyses consacrées à différentes expériences participatives, afin de préciser les configurations institutionnelles et politiques favorables à une gouvernance plus participative, nous examinons ces résultats à l'aune du Budget Participatif du Plateau Mont‐Royal à Montréal. Notre étude s'attarde plus particulièrement sur les liens entre décentralisation et démocratie participative, soulignant la nécessité d'une analyse qui prenne en compte les rapports de force entre les acteurs au sein des systèmes de gouvernance antérieurs à l'instauration des instances participatives. Si la présence de mouvements sociaux et de partis politiques, soutenant le projet participatif, s'avère incontournable, un mouvement uniquement bottom up risque également de cantonner la portée transformatrice de la démocratie participative à sa portion congrue.
    October 16, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01171.x   open full text
  • Variations of the Entrepreneurial City: Goals, roles and visions in Rotterdam's Kop van Zuid and the Glasgow Harbour Megaprojects.
    Brian Doucet.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. October 16, 2012
    Both Rotterdam's Kop van Zuid and the Glasgow Harbour waterfront developments are examples of different forms of European urban entrepreneurial megaprojects. They are both situated on formerly vacant land in older industrial cities. In Rotterdam, the municipality has taken the initiative in planning and developing the megaproject, while in Glasgow, this task has been left to the private sector, with the City functioning as a facilitator. While urban entrepreneurialism and megaprojects have been discussed in academic literature for almost three decades, there are too few case studies which delve into the specific visions guiding these projects, the goals which they are meant to achieve and the positions which different actors play. The aim of this article is to analyze the relationship between these visions, goals and positions of actors in megaprojects and whether these relationships can explain how the different outcomes are produced. What we see is that in municipally‐led projects, entrepreneurial goals are more easily formed and implemented than when the public sector acts only as a facilitator to private developers. It will also argue that it is not only structural contexts which are important in determining the types of megaprojects which get built and the success which they achieve, but also the specific values, visions and goals that different stakeholders have.
    October 16, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01182.x   open full text
  • The Rise of Ethnicity under China's Market Reforms.
    Jiaping Wu.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 28, 2012
    This article investigates the dynamic relationship between economic development and the identification of ethnic minorities and argues that identification of China's ethnic minorities manifests itself at various levels. At the national level, the introduction of market mechanisms and economic growth initiatives have been concentrated predominantly in the coastal areas and metropolises, and are thus increasingly distant from ethnic minorities, a disproportionate majority of which reside in the western parts of the country. This growing regional disparity has placed ethnic regions and populations in a distinctly unfavourable position in terms of economic engagement and development. Regional development in the ethnic‐minority homelands has been characterized by the representation and reinvention of ethnic cultural traditions and the production of cultural economies. Unequal economic growth has resulted in a massive migration of ethnic minorities to the cities. Simultaneously, urban development has reinforced ethnic identity, particularly through urban labour‐market development. Urban and regional development has, in turn, led to the production, activation and magnification of ethnic identity at individual and group levels.
    September 28, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01179.x   open full text
  • Housing Preferences of Temporary Migrants in Urban China in the wake of Gradual Hukou Reform: A Case Study of Shenzhen.
    Eddie Chi Man Hui, Ka Hung Yu, Yinchuan Ye.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 07, 2012
    In the wake of the recent announcement by the State Council concerning the provision of public rental housing across China, and the gradual reform of China's household registration system (hukou), this article explores how potential adjustments in government housing policies (namely access to public rental housing) influence the housing preferences of temporary migrants who are currently residing inside the chengzhongcun (urban villages) of Shenzhen. The results indicate that dissatisfaction with rental cost and living conditions in these urban villages are the key reasons for migrants wishing to move into public rental housing if it is offered to them — and not the fact that they are treated differently within the hukou system. Public rental housing is welcomed in particular by newly arriving migrants who live outside the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone (SEZ), and migrants who have decided to remain in Shenzhen for the foreseeable future. By contrast, dissatisfaction with urban villages is the sole contributor to housing preferences for those residing inside the SEZ.
    September 07, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01176.x   open full text
  • Don't Plan! The Use of the Notion of ‘Culture’ in Transforming Obsolete Industrial Space.
    Maroš Krivý.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 07, 2012
    How is the notion of ‘culture’ understood and used in planning the transformation of obsolete industrial space? This article analyses the evidence from a current planning project in Suvilahti, Helsinki. It shows that ‘culture’ is imagined and employed as an instrument capable of producing difference in urban space. The transformation of the Cable Factory in Helsinki and the subsequent consensus on the importance of ‘culture’ are shown to have influenced the planning of Suvilahti. On the one hand, planning is being carried out with a deliberate minimization of planning interventions and the promotion of the spontaneous, non‐planned practices of cultural producers: the future Suvilahti is imagined as a ‘cultural enclave’ and its community is characterized as a ‘living organism’. On the other, ‘culture’ is planned in terms of its supposedly positive effects on urban space. Planners do not want to interfere with the non‐planned character of ‘cultural production’, yet at the same time they express certainty about cultural production's positive spatial and socioeconomic effects. The transformation of Suvilahti is playing an important part in the large‐scale planning project to redevelop the old industrial harbour in Kalasatama, Helsinki. The changes in the nature of planning are analysed under the concept of cultural governmentality.
    September 07, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01178.x   open full text
  • Identification and Estimation of Club Convergence Models with Spatial Dependence.
    Rosa Bernadini Papalia, Silvia Bertarelli.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. September 07, 2012
    This article deals with heterogeneity and spatial dependence in economic growth analysis by developing a two‐stage strategy that identifies clubs by a mapping analysis and estimates a club convergence model with spatial dependence. Since estimation of this class of convergence models in the presence of regional heterogeneity poses both identification and collinearity problems, we develop an entropy‐based estimation procedure that simultaneously takes account of ill‐posed and ill‐conditioned inference problems. The two‐step strategy is applied to assess the existence of club convergence and to estimate a two‐club spatial convergence model across Italian regions over the period 1970 to 2000.
    September 07, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01170.x   open full text
  • A Conceptual Regulatory Framework for the Design and Evaluation of Complex, Participative Cultural Planning Strategies.
    Pier Luigi Sacco, Alessandro Crociata.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 23, 2012
    The current hype about culture‐led local development models is causing an increasing interest in cultural policies in the broader context of urban policy. This is not necessarily a transitory situation bound to fade once the hype is over. Under certain conditions, there is room to believe that culture may indeed become a main development driver of urban systems. For this to happen, however, it is necessary to abandon simple mono‐causal developmental schemes (such as the ‘creative class’ model) and look for more articulated approaches. This calls in turn for a complex systems‐based conceptual framework that is at the same time rich enough to capture the complexity of the interdependences among policy and state variables, and manageable enough to be of practical use, not only for policy design professionals but also for local stakeholders who want to take part in collective decision‐making processes. Inclusiveness and collective decision making are almost unavoidable in the case of cultural planning strategies, as the social sustainability of culture‐based value creation processes crucially depends on boosting the level of access to cultural opportunities by local residents. In this article we present an approach that may be a tentative first step in this direction.
    August 23, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01159.x   open full text
  • Different Manifestations of the Concept of Empowerment: The Politics of Urban Renewal in the United States and the United Kingdom.
    Marie‐Hélène Bacqué, Carole Biewener.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. August 23, 2012
    Over the course of the 1990s the concept of empowerment became firmly established within the vocabulary of urban politics in several different national contexts. This article analyzes the spread of this concept by looking at the politics of urban renewal in the United States and the United Kingdom. It shows that even if (and possibly because) the definition of empowerment remained vague, the turn to empowerment came out of and contributed to a shift in the nature of urban politics and to a reconfiguration of governmental methods, the role of the state and, consequently, to changes in civil society, all of which were associated with a rise to prominence of a neoliberal perspective.
    August 23, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01169.x   open full text
  • Climate Change and Reorganizing Land Use: Flood Control Areas as a Network Effect.
    Silvia Bruzzone.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2012
    Although climate change appears to be a relatively new public issue, it has not emerged onto a tabula rasa; it affects ‘traditional’ policy sectors. How, then, does this ‘new issue’ interact with established organizational processes, and how is climate change ‘operationalized’ in local practice? Since major events linked to climate change include such things as desertification, climatic migrations, floods and landslides, one might assume that one of its main implications would be a substantial change in land use, or at least a transformation in land organization and management. This article explores the implementation of a ‘flood control area’ as an adaptation practice in the face of climate change. What theoretical and empirical tools should analysis adopt to account for the multiple actors, types of knowledge, artefacts, socio‐technical systems and governance configurations engaged in developing such practices? In other words, to what extent does climate change become a reorganizing category? This article adopts a theoretical approach inspired by actor‐network theory and considers adaptation practice not as a standardized top‐down solution, but as the result of specific local connections among actors, materials and discourses. The analysis suggests that climate change is indeed a reorganizing category, but one that depends on the specific local materializations of the adaptation measure.
    July 30, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01162.x   open full text
  • How Culture and Economy Meet in South Korea: The Politics of Cultural Economy in Culture‐led Urban Regeneration.
    HaeRan Shin, Quentin Stevens.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2012
    This article investigates the ways in which cultural economy is formed through negotiation and interaction between local actors in the case of culture‐led regeneration in Gwangju, South Korea. It looks at the dynamics between the bureaucrats' pursuit of economic growth in the city and the efforts of civil society to maintain a strong political spirit throughout the regeneration process. Through in‐depth interviews with various participants and archival analysis, the politics of cultural economy are examined in relation to the Gwangju Biennale and the City of Culture project. The findings show that in these two cases bureaucrats were the dominant force, a tendency that instrumentalized culture. They also illustrate that this dominance brought about resistance from civil society. However, in the process of both engaging in conflict and working with each other, the different discourses of economic growth and cultural meaning were integrated, and in the process mutual learning and adaptation took place among members of the two groups. Civil society also faced cleavages resulting from different approaches to how to collaborate with the bureaucrats and its ensuing self‐reflection on communicative value enhanced its rehabilitation. The article argues that the politics of cultural economy is dynamic, involving processes of renegotiation, adaptation and self‐realization. It also offers the possibility of a new arena for the public sphere. Civil society plays a critical role in the integration of culture and economy.
    July 30, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01161.x   open full text
  • Cultural Economy Planning in Creative Cities: Discourse and Practice.
    Carl Grodach.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2012
    While a growing body of research analyses the functional mechanisms of the cultural or creative economy, there has been little attention devoted to understanding how local governments translate this work into policy. Moreover, research in this vein focuses predominately on Richard Florida's creative class thesis rather than considering the wider body of work that may influence policy. This article seeks to develop a deeper understanding of how municipalities conceptualize and plan for the cultural economy through the lens of two cities held up as model ‘creative cities’ — Austin, Texas and Toronto, Ontario. The work pays particular attention to how the cities adopt and adapt leading theories, strategies and discourses of the cultural economy. While policy documents indicate that the cities embrace the creative city model, in practice agencies tend to adapt conventional economic development strategies for cultural economy activity and appropriate the language of the creative city for multiple purposes.
    July 30, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01165.x   open full text
  • Alternative Capitalism and Creative Economy: the Case of Christiania.
    Alberto Vanolo.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 30, 2012
    The Free Town of Christiania is an autonomous community of about 1,000 inhabitants in the centre of Copenhagen. Built as a squat for a hippy community in the 1970s, it is today a central node in the geography of activism, anarchism and alternative social life. This article analyses Christiania from the specific perspective of creativity and within the context of the ‘creative city’ debate. The Free Town is a lively innovative milieu, nurturing the arts, social experimentation, ideas and original architectural solutions. As such, it is becoming a more and more relevant space from the point of view of the market economy and in the promotion of the idea of a ‘creative Copenhagen’. But I argue that much of its creative potential is connected to place‐specific socioeconomic factors. In this sense, the Christiania experience troubles mainstream conceptions of creativity by revealing that creativity is both fluid and situated.
    July 30, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01167.x   open full text
  • Relational Governance and the Formation of a New Economic Space: The Case of Teheran Valley, Seoul, Korea.
    Namji Jung.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 26, 2012
    Abstract This article articulates the relational capacity of the nation‐state, and its role in the growth of information and communication technology (ICT) entrepreneurs and industry cluster formation. In particular, it emphasizes the state's strategic coupling with the private sector and social groups as the main forces that facilitated the rise of ICT entrepreneurs and the high‐technology industry cluster in Teheran Valley (TV) in Seoul, Korea, during the post‐1997 financial‐crisis downturn. Historical analysis shows that the seemingly serendipitous rise of TV is an outcome of the dynamic interplay between the state, ICT entrepreneurs and other social forces in the post‐industrial restructuring process. Importantly, while the Korean state still maintained its role as a reformer of industry structure, it continuously and flexibly revised its mode of governing in response to technological change and social demands, forming a governance system that I term ‘relational governance’. During the industrial upgrading period from 1980 to the early 2000s, the governance system for the ICT sector shifted from centralized planning to selective deregulation through close partnership with ICT entrepreneurs, and then later to a more flexible mode of governance whereby the state re‐centralized ICT policymaking functions while devising indirect ways of supporting emerging small and medium ICT enterprises. Résumé Cet article expose la capacité relationnelle de l'État‐nation, ainsi que son rôle dans le développement de pôles industriels et d'entreprises innovantes des technologies de l'information et de la communication (TIC). Il insiste notamment sur la combinaison stratégique de l'État avec le secteur privé et les groupes sociaux, principaux moteurs ayant facilité l'épanouissement des entreprises des TIC et du pôle de haute technologie de Teheran Valley, à Séoul, lors du ralentissement liéà la crise financière de 1997. Une analyse historique montre que l'essor apparemment providentiel de Teheran Valley résulte de l'interaction entre État, entreprises des TIC et forces sociales pendant la restructuration post‐industrielle. Il faut noter que, si l'État coréen a conservé son rôle de réformateur de l'architecture industrielle, il n'a cessé de corriger son mode de gouvernement face à l'évolution technologique et aux exigences sociales, aboutissant à un système qualifié ici de ‘gouvernance relationnelle’. Durant la phase de revalorisation de l'industrie, entre 1980 et le début des années 2000, le système de gouvernance du secteur des TIC est passé d'une planification centralisée à une déréglementation sélective grâce à un partenariat étroit avec les entreprises du secteur, puis à un assouplissement du mode de gouvernance qui a permis à l'État de recentraliser les décisions stratégiques en matière de TIC, tout en créant des moyens indirects de soutenir les petites et moyennes entreprises nouvelles du secteur.
    July 26, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01147.x   open full text
  • The Capitalization of Public Services and Amenities into Land Prices — Empirical Evidence from German Communities.
    Alexander Ebertz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. July 23, 2012
    Applying the hedonic approach to land prices, this article investigates the capitalization of public services and pure amenities in a cross section of German communities. Possible spillover effects from neighboring municipalities are explicitly included in the analysis and prove to be of considerable importance. Estimates of the impacts of local attributes on land prices are obtained taking into account the spatial structure among unobserved variables. The results confirm that differences in land prices are largely attributable to local conditions and policies. This implies a significant degree of mobility as well as high estimation of local attributes on the part of German households.
    July 23, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01160.x   open full text
  • Hip‐Hop as Urban and Regional Research: Encountering an Insider's Ethnography of City Life.
    David Beer.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 20, 2012
    AbstractThis essay suggests that hip‐hop music may reasonably be thought of as a form of urban and regional research. The essay draws upon a recently published book by hip‐hop artist Jay‐Z, which provides biographical information alongside translations of the lyrical content of his works, to show that hip‐hop is full of insider ethnographic insights into urban life. This, it is argued, can be thought of as an answer to Daryl Martin's call for a more ‘poetic urbanism’, an urbanism that captures the material, sensory and emotional aspects of the city. The essay uses Jay‐Z's text to illustrate the type of insights and ideas that we might obtain from hip‐hop, giving some specific examples of these insights and concluding with some reflections upon this alternative insider account of city life — and how it might provide us with opportunities for expanding our repertoire.RésuméOn peut penser raisonnablement que la musique hip‐hop est une forme de recherche urbaine et régionale. S'appuyant sur un livre récent publié par l'artiste de hip‐hop Jay‐Z, où figurent des éléments biographiques ainsi que le décryptage de ses chansons, cette étude montre que le hip‐hop regorge d'observations ethnographiques sur la vie urbaine vue de l'intérieur. On peut considérer ce travail comme une réponse à l'appel de Daryl Martin à un urbanisme plus ‘poétique’, capable de saisir la ville dans ses aspects matériels, sensoriels et émotionnels. À partir du texte de Jay‐Z, il est possible de montrer le type d'observations et d'idées qu'apporte le hip‐hop, en donnant quelques exemples précis. La conclusion amène des réflexions sur cette forme immergée de récit de la vie urbaine et sur l'élargissement potentiel qu'elle offre à notre répertoire.
    June 20, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01151.x   open full text
  • Soft Spaces, Fuzzy Boundaries and Spatial Governance in Post‐devolution Wales.
    Jesse Heley.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 18, 2012
    Abstract This article explores the responses of senior local government actors to the 2004 Wales Spatial Plan and its 2008 update. An example of the so‐called ‘new spatial planning’ which has emerged in the movement towards regional devolution in the UK, this planning discourse foregrounds elements of relational thinking that seek to alternatively augment, destabilize and overturn orthodox administrative categories and divisions of space. Whereas spatial planners have traditionally thought and practised with and through clearly bounded scales (national, regional, local), in this century the new spatial planning is imposing relationally inscribed concepts such as ‘soft space’ and ‘fuzzy boundaries’ into the lexicon of spatial planners. Keystones in a vocabulary used to conceptualize the emergence of new spaces of more networked governance, the importance attached to both concepts in current thinking is that they seek to translate theory into policy, and policy into action. A key question arising from this, however, is how the lexicon of the new spatial planning translates, intersects, and compares with the spatial imaginations of the local government and non‐government officials who have to implement and deliver the strategy. By drawing on the case study of post‐devolution Wales, this article draws on interview data to critically explore the impact of the Wales Spatial Plan as a strategy indicative of the new spatial planning in action, and the implications it has had for service delivery. Résumé L’étude s’intéresse aux réactions de hauts responsables des autorités locales face au programme ‘Wales Spatial Plan’ de 2004 et à son actualisation de 2008. Représentatif de ce qu’on a appelé la ‘nouvelle planification spatiale’, née dans le sillage de la dévolution régionale au Royaume‐Uni, le discours utilisé met en avant des éléments de la pensée relationnelle qui, eux, cherchent à grossir, déstabiliser et rompre les catégories administratives classiques et les divisions de l’espace. D’habitude, les aménageurs réfléchissaient et opéraient dans le cadre d’échelons territoriaux clairement établis (national, régional, local), mais depuis le début de ce siècle, la nouvelle planification spatiale impose, dans leur lexique, des concepts définis en fonction des interconnexions, tels que soft space (espace transversal) et fuzzy boundaries (délimitations floues). Éléments fondamentaux d’un vocabulaire servant à conceptualiser l’apparition de nouveaux espaces de gouvernance en réseau, ces deux concepts doivent leur place dans la réflexion actuelle au fait qu’ils tentent de traduire la théorie en politiques, et les politiques en actions. D’où une question essentielle : comment le lexique de la nouvelle planification spatiale parvient‐il à donner une traduction, à se superposer et àêtre comparable aux imaginations spatiales des responsables locaux, gouvernementaux et non gouvernementaux, qui doivent mettre en œuvre et concrétiser la stratégie? En partant de l’après‐dévolution galloise de l’étude de cas, ce travail s’appuie sur des résultats d’entretiens pour effectuer une analyse critique sur l’impact du ‘Wales Spatial Plan’ en tant que stratégie révélatrice de la nouvelle planification spatiale opérationnelle, et sur les conséquences de ce programme pour la fourniture des services.
    June 18, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01149.x   open full text
  • Gated Communities and House Prices: Suburban Change in Southern California, 1980–2008.
    Renaud Le Goix, Elena Vesselinov.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 04, 2012
    AbstractHousing prices being one factor thought to contribute to segregation patterns, this article aims at differentiating gated communities from non‐gated communities in terms of change in property values. To what extent do gated communities contribute to price filtering of residents, and do patterns of price differentiation favor gated communities in the long run? The article provides an analysis of the territorial nature of gated communities and how the private urban‐governance realm theoretically sustains the hypothesis that property values within gated communities are better protected. In order to identify price patterns across time, we elaborate a spatial analysis of values (price distance index) by identifying gated communities with real estate listings in 2008 and matching these with historical data at the normalized census‐tract level from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 census in the greater Los Angeles region. We conclude that gated communities are very diverse in kind. The wealthier the area, the more it contributes to fuelling price growth, especially in the most highly desired locations in the region. Furthermore, a dual behavior emerges in areas with an over‐representation of gated communities. On the one hand, gated communities are located within local contexts that introduce greater heterogeneity and instability in price patterns. In this way, they contribute to a local increase in price inequality that destabilizes price patterns at neighborhood level. On the other hand, gated communities proliferate in contexts that show a very strong stability in terms of price homogeneity at the local level.RésuméLa sélection des résidents d'un quartier par le prix constituant un facteur fondamental de la ségrégation, cet article vise à analyser la manière dont les gated communities se différentient des autres lotissements non enclos, en termes d'évolution des valeurs immobilières. Les gated communities constituant avant tout des lotissements comme les autres, à la différence près que leur accès est fermé et contrôlé, notre étude porte sur la manière dont ces lotissements fermés se différencient des autres lotissements en termes d'appréciation ou de dépréciation relative des biens immobiliers; et ce faisant dans quelle mesure elles contribuent à une sélection sociale des résidents accentuée par des logiques différentielles de production des prix immobiliers sur le temps long. Dans une perspective expérimentale à l'échelon local dans la région de Los Angeles, cet article vise donc, d'une part, à explorer la nature territoriale des gated communities, en particulier la manière dont leur appartenance au genre plus général des lotissements en copropriété (Common Interest Development) permet de structurer la réflexion sur la plus‐value immobilière générée par rapport aux lotissements non‐enclos. L'analyse porte d'autre part — avec les outils de l'analyse spatiale — sur les discontinuités des prix immobiliers dans les zones ou les lotissements planifiés (fermés ou non) sont surreprésentés (entre 1980 et 2008). A partir de données immobilières, nous identifions les gated communities et les comparons aux données fournies au niveau des Census Tract du recensement en 1980, 1990 et 2000, afin d'analyser les types de trajectoires temporelles des prix immobiliers. Les résultats montrent que les gated communities sont d'une part très hétérogènes, et contribuent globalement à soutenir la hausse des marchés immobiliers, en particulier dans les zones les plus attractives. De plus, les gated communities introduisent localement une plus grande hétérogénéité et instabilité dans les types de trajectoires temporelles des prix immobiliers à l'échelon du quartier.
    May 04, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01139.x   open full text
  • The Sustainability of a Financialized Urban Megaproject: The Case of Sihlcity in Zurich.
    Thierry Theurillat, Olivier Crevoisier.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 04, 2012
    AbstractFinancialization and sustainable urban planning are now two major components of urban production and landscape change in Western cities. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how the intervention of financial actors influences urban sustainability in the building of megaprojects, by developing a conceptual framework for analysis and interpretation. This framework aims first to examine the way in which sustainability has been produced by the different actors involved in a real‐life situation, and then to place these interactions in their institutional, spatial and temporal context. Consequently, sustainability is understood as a social construct which is the object of negotiations that have led to the making of institutional arrangements in order to allow the project to be carried through. This framework has been constructed from the financial geography and urban geography literature on ‘finance, the city and sustainability’ and from a case study. The latter looks at the regeneration of a brownfield site to create a shopping and leisure complex that was the biggest in Switzerland and was purchased by financial actors.RésuméAujourd'hui, la financiarisation et l'urbanisme durable sont deux composantes majeures de la production urbaine et de la transformation du paysage des villes occidentales. L'objectif de l'article est de montrer comment l'intervention d'acteurs financiers influence la durabilité urbaine lors de la construction de mégaprojets à partir de la construction d'un cadre conceptuel, analytique et interprétatif. Ce dernier vise, d'une part, à examiner en situation la manière dont la durabilité a été produite par les différents acteurs impliqués, et d'autre part à situer ces interactions dans leur contexte institutionnel, spatial et temporel. La durabilité est par conséquent entendue comme une construction sociale ayant fait l'objet de négociations qui ont débouché sur un arrangement institutionnel pour que le projet puisse se réaliser. Ce cadre a été construit à partir de travaux en géographie de la finance et en géographie urbaine sur ‘finance, ville et durabilité’ et de l'étude de cas. Cette dernière porte sur la revitalisation d'une friche industrielle en un complexe commercial et de loisirs qui a été le plus grand de Suisse acheté par des acteurs financiers.
    May 04, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01140.x   open full text
  • The Global Production of Transportation Public–Private Partnerships.
    Matti Siemiatycki.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 03, 2012
    Abstract Around the world, public–private partnerships have become increasingly popular to deliver large‐scale transportation infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, railways, subways, seaports and airports. The aim of this article is to provide a framework to understand the global geography of projects built through this market‐driven procurement model, which have been predominantly concentrated in a small number of developed countries and emerging markets. As is shown, within many countries, a governance and regulatory environment has been established that supports public–private partnerships over other alternative procurement approaches. Nevertheless, the production of public–private partnerships worldwide has been dominated by a relatively small number of highly globalized construction contractors, engineering firms, financiers, accountancies and consultants from developed countries, who have focused their activities in a narrow set of regions. The article concludes by reflecting on the implications of the high level of industry concentration, and emerging trends showing greater involvement from firms from developing countries. Resumé À travers le monde, les partenariats public‐privé sont de plus en plus utilisés pour les projets d’infrastructure de transports de grande envergure, tels que routes, ponts, voies ferrées, métros, ports et aéroports. Cet article définit un cadre permettant de comprendre la géographie planétaire des projets bâtis selon ce modèle orienté par le marché, projets concentrés dans un petit nombre de pays développés et émergents. Les régimes de gouvernance et la réglementation mis en place dans de nombreux pays favorisent les partenariats public‐privé au détriment d’autres approches de réalisation de projets. Néanmoins, la production de ces partenariats dans le monde a été dominée par un nombre relativement réduit d’entreprises de bâtiment et d’ingénierie, de bailleurs de fonds, de cabinets de comptabilité et de conseils, acteurs installés dans des pays développés et dont les activités internationalisées s’exercent sur un ensemble restreint de régions. La conclusion aborde les conséquences d’une forte concentration industrielle et l’apparition d’une implication croissante des entreprises des pays en développement.
    May 03, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01126.x   open full text
  • Getting Creative with the ‘Creative City’? Towards New Perspectives on Creativity in Urban Policy.
    Thomas BorÉn, Craig Young.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. May 03, 2012
    Abstract This article explores new avenues for academic research on the ‘creative city’. Creativity offers opportunities for urban development and the personal development of urban inhabitants, but its adoption in urban policy is frequently criticized for being welded to economic imperatives and a neoliberal agenda. Urban policymakers worldwide continue to adopt narrow conceptualizations of ‘creativity’ while largely ignoring extensive academic criticism of the concept, suggesting that academic concerns with creativity in urban policy need to be reoriented more effectively. This article develops four key theoretical points on the ‘creative city’ and creative urban policy. It argues that the focus of enquiry should shift towards a more in‐depth understanding of how ‘creativity’ is constructed, contested and performed in specific urban contexts, understanding the ‘creative policy gap’ between policymakers and those engaged in all kinds of creative practice, and developing forms of artistic intervention to attempt to make creative policymaking more inclusive and ‘creative’. These points are developed through a critique of the literature and some illustrative examples of people in creative occupations interacting with urban planners and policymakers in creative interventions. Résumé De nouveaux axes de recherches s’ouvrent à la ‘ville créative’. La créativité offre des possibilités d’aménagement urbain et d’épanouissement personnel des citadins, mais son intégration aux politiques urbaines est souvent critiquée pour être indissociable d’impératifs économiques et d’objectifs néolibéraux. À travers le monde, les décideurs des politiques urbaines adoptent encore des notions étriquées de la ‘créativité’, négligeant les fréquentes remises en question du concept dans les études académiques, et prétextant que l’intérêt des chercheurs pour la créativité dans ce domaine devrait être réorienté plus efficacement. Quatre points théoriques sur ‘la ville créative’ et sur une politique urbaine créative sont présentés: les études devraient tenter de mieux comprendre les manières d’élaborer, de contester et de concrétiser la ‘créativité’ dans des contextes urbains particuliers, appréhender le ‘déficit de politique créative’ entre les décideurs politiques et les personnes qui exercent toutes sortes de pratiques créatives, et développer des formes d’intervention artistique afin de susciter des approches des politiques urbaines plus inclusives et plus ‘créatives’. Ces points sont examinés en analysant les publications existantes, ainsi que plusieurs exemples de personnes exerçant des professions créatives en interaction avec les urbanistes et les décideurs politiques dans le cadre d’interventions créatives.
    May 03, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01132.x   open full text
  • Struggling for the Right to the (Creative) City in Berlin and Hamburg: New Urban Social Movements, New ‘Spaces of Hope’?
    Johannes Novy, Claire Colomb.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 06, 2012
    AbstractIn cities across the globe there is mounting evidence of growing mobilization by members of the so‐called ‘creative class’ in urban social movements, defending particular urban spaces and influencing urban development. This essay discusses the meaning of such developments with reference to the hypothesis made by David Harvey in Spaces of Capital about the increasing mobilization of cultural producers in oppositional movements in an era of wholesale instrumentalization of culture and ‘creativity’ in contemporary processes of capitalist urbanization. After briefly reviewing recent scholarly contributions on the transformations of urban social movements, as well as Harvey's hypothesis about the potential role of cultural producers in mobilizations for the construction of ‘spaces of hope’, the essay describes two specific urban protests that have occurred in Berlin and Hamburg in recent years: the fight for Berlin's waterfront in the Media Spree area, and the conflict centred on the Gängeviertel in Hamburg. In both protests artists, cultural producers and creative milieux have played a prominent role. The essay analyses the composition, agenda, contribution and contradictions of the coalitions behind the protests, discussing whether such movements represent the seeds of new types of coalitions with a wide‐ranging agenda for urban change. The essay finally proposes a future research agenda on the role of artists, cultural producers and the ‘creative class’ in urban social movements across the globe.RésuméDans les villes à travers le monde, on constate une mobilisation croissante des membres de la classe dite ‘créative’ dans des mouvements sociaux urbains afin de défendre certains espaces de la ville ou d'influencer l'urbanisme. La signification de ces évolutions est analysée en référence à l'hypothèse qu'a formulée David Harvey dans Spaces of Capital sur la mobilisation accrue des producteurs culturels dans des mouvements contestataire à l'ère de l'instrumentalisation massive de la culture et de la ‘créativité’ dans les processus contemporains d'urbanisation capitaliste. Après une courte étude des récentes contributions sur les transformations des mouvements sociaux urbains et de l'hypothèse d'Harvey sur le rôle potentiel des producteurs culturels dans les mobilisations en vue d'élaborer des ‘espaces d'espoir’, deux contestations urbaines qui ont eu lieu ces dernières années à Berlin et Hambourg sont présentées: le combat pour les quais de Berlin dans le projet Media Spree et le conflit centré sur le Gängeviertel hambourgeois. Dans les deux cas, artistes, producteurs culturels et milieux créatifs ont joué un rôle déterminant. Cet essai analyse la composition, le programme, la contribution et les contradictions des coalitions qui soutiennent les contestations, tout en cherchant à savoir si ces mouvements sont les germes de nouveaux types de coalitions dont l'agenda se diversifie en faveur du changement urbain. Pour finir, un programme de recherches est proposé sur le rôle des artistes, des producteurs culturels et de la ‘classe créative’ dans les mouvements sociaux urbains à travers le monde.
    March 06, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01115.x   open full text
  • Cooperation and Capacity? Exploring the Sources and Limits of City‐Region Governance Partnerships.
    Jen Nelles.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 02, 2012
    Abstract Scholarship abounds on the importance of city‐regions to regional and national prosperity, and to the wider global economy. But little is known about their capacity to function as effective, legitimate and robust policy actors. This article begins to address the important question of what determines the governance capacity of city‐regions by unpacking the concepts at the core of this research. It focuses on sources of horizontal capacity as a function of the strength of intermunicipal partnerships. Research suggests a variety of determinants of the strength of inter municipal partnerships, from rational choice to institutional perspectives. This article acknowledges the contribution of these approaches, but argues that none of the approaches presented to date can alone explain observed variations in the strength and capacity of city‐regional partnerships. Instead the article presents an alternative theoretical framework that reimagines and combines existing approaches, and introduces the concept of civic capital as a critical determinant of governance capacity. Résumé De nombreux travaux de recherches soulignent combien les régions métropolitaines sont importantes pour la prospérité régionale et nationale, et pour l'économie mondiale en général. Pourtant, on en sait peu sur leur capacitéà opérer comme acteurs efficaces, légitimes et solides des politiques publiques. En revenant sur les concepts fondamentaux de ces études, l'article traite d'abord un point important: les facteurs déterminants de la capacité de gouvernance des régions métropolitaines. Il s'attache aux sources de capacité horizontale en fonction de la solidité des partenariats intercommunaux. Les études suggèrent tout un éventail de facteurs de cette solidité, allant du choix rationnel aux perspectives institutionnelles. Toutes les approches présentées à ce jour contribuent au débat général, mais aucune ne peut expliquer à elle seule les variations observées dans la solidité et la capacité des partenariats des régions métropolitaines. Un cadre théorique alternatif est présenté dans cet article, permettant de réimaginer et de combiner les approches existantes, tout en introduisant le concept de capital civique comme facteur essentiel de la capacité de gouvernance.
    March 02, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01112.x   open full text
  • The Triple Helix Model as Inspiration for Local Development Policies: An Experience‐Based Perspective.
    Carlos Rodrigues, Ana I. Melo.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 02, 2012
    Abstract The triple helix model (THM) is being widely used as a source of inspiration for policies and programmes aimed at fostering innovation. This is evolving across the range of policymaking geographical scales, as well as independently of the geographies of context that determine different framework conditions for promoting innovation. This article questions the extent to which the THM provides a solid conceptual basis for development policies, particularly at the local level. It does this by exploring the experience of a Portuguese small municipality, in which the development policy effort is not only guided by the model itself, but is also targeted at the materialization of local ‘triple helices’. The authors take advantage of their direct involvement in the local policymaking exercise and confront their observations of the change dynamics evolving in the municipality with the ‘endless transitions’ that are at the very core of the THM. Résumé Le modèle de la triple hélice sert très souvent de source d'inspiration pour les actions publiques et programmes visant à encourager l'innovation. Ce phénomène se retrouve à tous les échelons territoriaux d'élaboration des politiques, tout en étant indépendant des géographies contextuelles qui déterminent différentes conditions générales à la promotion de l'innovation. On peut se demander dans quelle mesure le modèle de la triple hélice garantit un fondement conceptuel solide pour des politiques de développement, notamment au niveau local. Pour ce faire, l'expérience d'une petite municipalité portugaise est étudiée. Les politiques de développement qui y sont menées ne sont pas seulement orientées par le modèle lui‐même, elles ciblent également la concrétisation de ‘triples hélices’ locales. Forts de leur implication dans les décisions politiques locales, les auteurs confrontent leurs observations relatives à l'évolution des dynamiques de changement dans cette commune, compte tenu ‘passages sans fin’ qui sont au cœur du modèle de la triple hélice.
    March 02, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01117.x   open full text
  • Planning Practice between Ethics and the Power Game: Making and Applying an Ethical Code for Planning Agencies.
    Gerard Hoekveld, Barrie Needham.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 02, 2012
    Abstract When considering how ethical considerations should be applied to the practice of spatial planning, most attention has been given to how individual spatial planners should do that. Our focus in this article is different: it is on the public agencies that carry out spatial planning. What ethical principles should they follow, both for determining the content of the planning policy and the procedures by which those principles are applied? We argue that it is possible to construct a ‘domain ethics’ specifically for spatial planning, a set of normative principles based on widely shared values and taking account of the peculiar features of spatial planning. Using four sources — some ‘middle‐range’ ethical principles, national law, international law, and the principles behind the idea of ‘due process’— a domain ethics for spatial planning is put forward. In the ‘power game’ of planning practice, the public agency should adhere to these ethical principles. Ultimately, this is a task for the individual planner acting responsibly within the organization. We argue that planners should construct an ethical frame of reference, specifically adapted to every situation, which takes into account the nature and motivations of the other partners in that power game. That frame of reference should be established before the discussions and negotiations begin, and it should be used to influence them. Résumé Dans les études sur l'intégration de considérations déontologiques dans l'exercice de l'aménagement du territoire, on s'est attachéà la conduite à tenir par les aménageurs individuels. Cet article s'intéresse quant à lui aux organismes publics qui réalisent ce type d'aménagement. Quels principes éthiques devraient‐ils suivre pour décider à la fois la teneur des politiques d'aménagement et les procédures de mise en œuvre de ces principes? Il est possible d'élaborer une ‘éthique du domaine’ spécifique à l'aménagement du territoire, ensemble de principes normatifs fondés sur des valeurs partagées de manière générale et tenant compte des particularités de cette activité. Pour présenter cette déontologie, quatre sources sont exploitées: quelques principes éthiques ‘de consensus’, la législation nationale, le droit international, ainsi que les principes qui sous‐tendent la notion de régularité de la procédure (au sens de due process). Dans le ‘jeu de pouvoir’ liéà la pratique de l'aménagement, l'organisme public devrait respecter ces principes éthiques. Pour finir, il revient à chaque aménageur d'agir de manière responsable au sein de la structure concernée. Il conviendrait que les aménageurs élaborent un cadre de référence éthique, adaptéà chaque situation et tenant compte de la nature et des motivations des autres acteurs de ce jeu de pouvoir. Ce cadre de référence devrait être défini avant le début de toutes discussions ou négociations afin de pouvoir servir à les d'influencer.
    March 02, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01146.x   open full text
  • Complexity and Uncertainty: Problem or Asset in Decision Making of Mega Infrastructure Projects?
    Willem Salet, Luca Bertolini, Mendel Giezen.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. March 02, 2012
    AbstractHow should one cope with complexity and uncertainty in mega infrastructure projects? While rational theories tend to eliminate or reduce these unruly conditions, the authors of this article are in search of a different approach to deal with the characteristics of complexity and uncertainty proactively. Three theoretical reflections are introduced to explore possible solutions: (1) the change of institutions to address the problem of excessively simple structures for making decisions on complex projects; (2) the shaping of a learning environment in order to deal with uncertainty and emergent properties; and (3) balancing the generation and the reduction of a variety of policy options in order to select a limited number of feasible options and to bridge the strategic exploration and the operational processes of decision making. Informed by this conceptual thought, concrete pathways are developed and discussed by means of a case study of the construction of a high‐speed railway line in the Netherlands.RésuméComment doit‐on gérer complexité et incertitude dans le cadre de mégaprojets d'infrastructure? Tandis que les théories rationnelles ont tendance àéliminer ou à minorer ces circonstances incontrôlées, cet article recherche une approche différente pour aborder les caractéristiques de la complexité et de l'incertitude de manière proactive. Trois axes de réflexion théorique sont présentés: la transformation des institutions, pour résoudre le problème des structures extrêmement simples confrontées à des décisions sur des projets complexes; la configuration d'un environnement d'apprentissage, pour faire face à l'incertitude et aux nouveaux éléments; l'équilibrage entre génération et réduction des diverses possibilités d'action publique, afin de sélectionner un nombre restreint d'options réalisables et d'harmoniser recherche de stratégies et processus décisionnels opérationnels. À partir de cette réflexion conceptuelle, des voies concrètes sont développées et analysées à travers une étude de cas sur la construction d'une ligne ferroviaire à grande vitesse aux Pays‐Bas.
    March 02, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01133.x   open full text
  • Are Trees Always ‘Good’? Urban Political Ecology and Environmental Justice in the Valleys of South Wales.
    Lawrence Kitchen.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 23, 2012
    AbstractThis article explores the potential of Urban Political Ecology analyses to reveal the nuanced relationships produced by nature and social relations in urban forests. A critique of the Urban Political Ecology forest literature, it focuses on the assumption in much of the literature that people in urban spaces perceive themselves to be advantaged by the presence of trees and disadvantaged by their absence. This critique leads to a call for an increased emphasis on the importance of different urban forest contexts and on the differential insights produced. The article constructs a narrative of the complex relationships, both historic and current, between communities, forest and the regulatory authorities in the governance of the urban forest of the valleys of south Wales. It then draws on recent research to reveal tensions in capitalist production and consumption relations, and identifies specific issues. Analysing these relationships and comparing the south Wales valleys case with other examples in Urban Political Ecology literature, the article seeks to promote the utility of Urban Political Ecology as a concept and to advance theoretically both Urban Political Ecology and, by extension, environmental justice.RésuméL'écologie politique urbaine, à travers ses analyses, est susceptible de révéler les relations en demi‐teintes que génèrent la nature et les relations sociales dans les forêts urbaines. Dans une critique des publications d'écologie politique urbaine sur la forêt, cet article s'intéresse à l'hypothèse courante selon laquelle les habitants des espaces urbains ressentent la présence d'arbres comme un avantage, et leur absence comme un désavantage. Il apparaît nécessaire de souligner l'importance des différents contextes de la forêt urbaine, ainsi que la diversité des perspectives qu'ils créent. L'article expose les rapports complexes, tant passés qu'actuels, entre communautés, forêt et autorités de réglementation dans le cadre de la gouvernance de la forêt urbaine de ‘The Valleys’ en Galles du sud. De plus, à partir de travaux de recherches récents, il repère des tensions dans les relations entre production capitaliste et consommation des espaces forestiers, et identifie des problèmes spécifiques. L'analyse de ces relations et la comparaison du cas des vallées des Galles du sud avec d'autres exemples traités dans les textes d'écologie politique urbaine encouragent à voir cette discipline comme un concept utile, donc à développer son cadre théorique et, par extension, celui de la justice environnementale.
    February 23, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01138.x   open full text
  • Spatial Analyses of the Urban Village Development Process in Shenzhen, China.
    Pu Hao, Stan Geertman, Pieter Hooimeijer, Richard Sliuzas.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 16, 2012
    AbstractUrban villages are widespread in many Chinese cities, providing affordable and accessible housing for rural migrants. These urban villages develop rapidly over time to create more housing units and accommodate increasing numbers of residents. This article provides systematic analyses of urban village development in Shenzhen in the period 1999–2009. It reveals that the development of urban villages was driven by the overall planning and urban growth of the city, which resulted in significant variation in urban village development at the city scale. Three distinct but overlapping phases were observed: expansion, densification and intensification. The growth of urban villages was spatially clustered and changes over time in the distribution of growth centres suggest the possible diffusion of migrant employment out of the Special Economic Zone into two outer districts. In the recent urban regeneration process, the pattern and trend of urban village development is shown to contradict the city's urban village redevelopment programmes. This not only helps to explain the slow progress of the policy implementation, but also implies severe risks of jeopardizing the migrant housing market in certain urban sections.RésuméDes villages urbains sont dispersés dans de nombreuses villes chinoises, procurant un habitat accessible et économique aux migrants ruraux. En essor rapide, ces implantations multiplient les logements à faible loyer et accueillent un nombre croissant d’habitants. Le développement des villages urbains de Shenzhen entre 1999 et 2009 a fait l’objet d’analyses systématiques: il a été induit par la croissance et l’aménagement d’ensemble de la ville, qui ont abouti à une importante variation de ce phénomène à l’échelle urbaine. On distingue trois phases, en partie superposées: expansion, densification et intensification. La croissance des villages urbains s’est concentrée dans l’espace, et les changements progressifs dans la répartition des pôles de croissance suggèrent la dissémination possible de l’emploi des migrants vers deux quartiers situés hors de la Zone économique spéciale. Il est montré que, dans le cadre du récent processus de régénération urbaine, le schéma et la tendance du développement de ces villages dans Shenzhen vont à l’encontre des programmes de réaménagement des villages urbains. D’une part, ces résultats permettent d’expliquer la lenteur dans la mise en œuvre des politiques publiques; d’autre part, ils suggèrent que, dans certaines zones urbaines, le marché du logement des migrants pourrait connaître une crise grave.
    February 16, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01109.x   open full text
  • Structures, Procedures and Social Capital: The Implementation of EU Cohesion Policies by Subnational Governments in Poland.
    Marta Lackowska‐Madurowicz, Paweł Swianiewicz.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 15, 2012
    Abstract The purpose of this article is to contribute to the debate on the Europeanization of new member states by discussing the impact of European Union (EU) regional policy on Polish regions. Analysis of the institutional setting connected to the regional policy proves that the general lack of social trust in Poland determines the unjustified complexity of procedures affecting the absorption of structural funds. In this investigation we adopt the social capital perspective to explain regional variation in the capacity to implement EU regional policy. The conclusions contradict the mainstream thesis that it is bridging social capital that correlates positively with regional economic development and administrative capacities. On the contrary, among the case study regions the one with higher bonding social capital proved more efficient in the absorption of EU funds. The following question remains — does the pace of absorption correspond to allocation decisions that would support the development of a region in a long‐term perspective? Résumé Cet article, qui s'inscrit dans le débat sur l'européanisation des nouveaux États membres, s'attache à l'impact de la politique régionale de l'Union européenne (UE) sur les territoires polonais. Une analyse du cadre institutionnel liéà la politique régionale montre que le défaut généralisé de confiance sociale en Pologne amène une complexité injustifiée des procédures qui pèse sur l'absorption des fonds structurels. L'étude adopte l'approche du capital social pour expliquer les variations régionales dans la capacitéà mettre en œuvre la politique régionale de l'UE. Les résultats contredisent la thèse classique selon laquelle c'est un capital social ‘relationnel’ (bridging) qui crée une corrélation positive avec les capacités administrative et de développement économique régionales. Au contraire, parmi les régions étudiées, le cas présentant le capital social le plus ‘affectif’ (bonding) s'est révélé plus efficient dans son utilisation des fonds européens. Il reste une question: le rythme d'absorption correspond‐il à des décisions d'affectation qui favoriseraient le développement d'une région à longue échéance?
    February 15, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2011.01102.x   open full text
  • Governance in the Post‐War City: Historical Reflections on Public–Private Partnerships in the UK.
    Peter Shapely.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 11, 2012
    Abstract Partnerships between the public and private sectors have been a central feature in the development of British cities since the nineteenth century. Many major civic projects, transport links and even industrial estates have been successfully completed thanks to government, central and local, working with private interests, developers and investors. After the second world war, however, these partnerships became fundamental to the redevelopment of urban Britain. While the state provided legislation, finance and policy directives, local government worked with the private sector to build social housing, new roads and schools. However, the council also relied on private investment to transform tired city centres by building new shopping centres, hotels and office blocks. While contemporary studies recognize the importance of these partnerships in the growth of cities since the 1980s, this article will look at their significance in a broader historical perspective, highlighting the pivotal role they played from the 1950s to the 1970s, and assessing their relevance not simply in terms of the material redevelopment of the built environment but also in what is revealed about urban governance. Résumé Les partenariats public‐privé ont marqué l’évolution des villes britanniques depuis le dix‐neuvième siècle. Beaucoup de grands projets municipaux, de liaisons de transport et même de zones industrielles ont été réalisés avec succès grâce à un gouvernement, central ou local, travaillant avec des acteurs privés, promoteurs et investisseurs. Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, ces partenariats sont devenus essentiels à la rénovation de la Grande‐Bretagne urbaine. Tandis que l’État apportait le cadre législatif, le financement et les directives politiques, les autorités territoriales coopéraient avec le secteur privé pour construire logements sociaux, nouvelles routes et écoles. Cependant, le pouvoir local s’est aussi appuyé sur l’investissement privé pour transformer des centres‐villes défraîchis en centres commerciaux, hôtels et quartiers d’affaires nouveaux. Les études contemporaines reconnaissent l’importance de ces partenariats pour la croissance des villes depuis les années 1980, mais cet article s’attachera à leur place dans une perspective historique plus large, soulignant le rôle décisif qu’ils ont joués entre les années 1950 et 1970, et appréciant leur pertinence non seulement en termes de réaménagement physique de l’environnement construit, mais aussi par ce qu’ils révèlent sur la gouvernance urbaine.
    February 11, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01113.x   open full text
  • When the Games Come to Town: Neoliberalism, Mega‐Events and Social Inclusion in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
    Rob Vanwynsberghe, BjÖrn Surborg, Elvin Wyly.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 11, 2012
    AbstractVancouver's successful bid for the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games took place at a transformational moment for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). In the first decade of this century, the IOC began to require host cities to address a much wider range of local impacts of the ‘global Games’, and to undertake planning initiatives to ensure maximum local social inclusion. In this article, we present a case study of the policies and principles of social inclusion used by the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) in preparing for the 2010 Games. We use key informant interviews, document analysis and participant observation to study a specific programme — Building Opportunities with Business (BOB) — that was showcased as one of VANOC's prominent demonstrations of social inclusion. Our evidence suggests that Games planning processes have become even more powerful instruments for the promotion of liberal philosophies through neoliberal local governance regimes; social inclusion is promised through the proliferation of ever more institutionally diffused public–private partnerships. With the neoliberal shift from public service provision to private sector entrepreneurialism, individual employability becomes the primary goal of, and normative justification for, social inclusion policies. Heavily circumscribed VANOC efforts at specific types of social inclusion have met with limited success, but it appears clear that the fusion of transnationally mobile mega‐events and prevailing doctrines of neoliberal entrepreneurialism has become a significant new framework for local urban social policy.RésuméLa candidature de Vancouver pour les Jeux olympiques et paralympiques d'hiver de 2010 a été acceptée alors que le Comité international olympique (CIO) était en mutation. Depuis la première décennie de ce siècle, le CIO incite les villes d'accueil à se préoccuper d'un éventail beaucoup plus large d'impacts locaux liés aux ‘Jeux planétaires’ et à mener des initiatives d'aménagement afin d'optimiser l'inclusion sociale locale. Cet article présente une étude de cas des politiques publiques et des principes d'inclusion sociale appliqués par le Comité d'organisation de Vancouver (COVAN) pour préparer les Jeux de 2010. Des entretiens avec des informateurs clés, une analyse documentaire et l'observation de participants permettent d'étudier un programme communautaire particulier, BOB (Building Opportunities with Business), présenté comme l'une des expériences les plus probantes d'inclusion sociale du COVAN. Les données suggèrent que les processus de planification des jeux sont devenus des instruments encore plus efficaces de promotion des philosophies libérales à travers des régimes de gouvernance locale néo‐libéraux, les promesses d'inclusion sociale passant par une prolifération de partenariats privé‐public toujours plus diffuse sur le plan institutionnel. Compte tenu de l'évolution néolibérale (de la fourniture de services publics aux initiatives entrepreneuriales privées), l'employabilité individuelle devient l'objectif premier, et la justification normative, des politiques d'inclusion sociale. Les efforts du COVAN, strictement circonscrits à certains types d'inclusion sociale, n'ont connu qu'un succès limité. Toutefois, il paraît évident que la fusion de méga‐événements mobiles à l'échelon transnational et des doctrines actuelles de l'entrepreneurialisme néolibéral a généré un nouveau cadre important pour la politique sociale urbaine locale.
    February 11, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2012.01105.x   open full text
  • In Search of Symbolic Markers: Transforming the Urbanized Landscape of the Rotterdam Rijnmond.
    Sebastian Dembski.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. February 07, 2012
    AbstractThe change in the form of cities over the last few decades into amorphous patterns classified as Zwischenstadt (in‐between city) has encouraged many urban regions to launch planning strategies that address the urbanized landscape in city‐regions. Symbolic markers are used to signify spatial transformation and mobilize various public and private stakeholders (including citizens). As the mindset of people is institutionalized in old perceptions of urban life, strategies employing symbolic markers may be thought of as attempts at institutional innovation. I will argue that the imagination of new regional spaces in the urban fringe is often voluntaristic. Instituting imaginative reconstructions of the Zwischenstadt through symbolic markers relies on a very precise notion of institutional meaning in practice. Using the Rotterdam Rijnmond area in the Netherlands and its attempt to develop new images of the regional urban landscape as an example, I will show that the transformative potential of symbolic markers depends on the way existing cultural and institutional practices are recombined.RésuméAu cours des dernières décennies, les villes ont vu leur forme évoluer selon des schémas amorphes appelés Zwischenstadt (entre‐ville), poussant de nombreuses régions métropolitaines à entreprendre des stratégies d’aménagement pour résoudre la question de leur paysage urbanisé. Les «marqueurs symboliques» permettent de mettre en évidence la transformation spatiale et de mobiliser divers acteurs publics et privés (dont les habitants). Étant donné la vision normalisée de la population selon des perceptions anciennes de la vie urbaine, on peut considérer les stratégies qui recourent à ces marqueurs comme des tentatives d’innovation institutionnelle. Imaginer de nouveaux espaces régionaux à la périphérie urbaine est souvent une initiative volontariste. Par ailleurs, instituer les reconstructions imaginatives de la Zwischenstadt au moyen de marqueurs symboliques repose sur une notion très précise de la signification institutionnelle dans des situations pratiques. À partir du cas hollandais de la région de Rotterdam‐Rijnmond et de ses efforts d’élaboration de nouvelles images de son paysage métropolitain, cette étude montre que le potentiel de transformation des marqueurs symboliques dépend de la façon dont les pratiques culturelles et institutionnelles existantes sont recombinées.
    February 07, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2011.01103.x   open full text
  • Introduction to a Virtual Issue on Dutch Cities.
    Talja Blokland.
    International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. June 15, 2011
    There is no abstract available for this paper.
    June 15, 2011   doi: 10.1000/j.1468-2427.2011.01086.x   open full text