Uplifting the Cities of the Poor by Edward L. Glaeser, City Journal Summer 2014

Originally posted on Civism and Cities:

Over the last half-century, a once overwhelmingly rural world has become ever more urban. In 1960, the urbanization rate in the majority of poor countries was less than 10 percent. Just 3 percent of Botswana’s population lived in cities, for example, while Kenya was 7 percent urban and Bangladesh then East Pakistan was 5 percent urban. Even China had only 16 percent of its people then residing in cities. Nowadays, China is more than 50 percent urban and Botswana more than 60 percent. In those two countries, industrialization and increasing prosperity have accompanied the population shift to cities. China’s real per-capita incomes have risen 25-fold since the early 1960s, and Botswana is more than 17 times wealthier. This has been urbanization’s usual historical pattern. In 1961, a 1 percent increase in urbanization was associated with per-capita earnings growth of 3 percent. And the trend is even stronger today: in 2011…

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12 Sep 14 // City Link: Cities, Culture and Sustainability // HCU Hamburg

Originally posted on disurban:

CONGRESS Cities_Culture_Sustainability

Cities, Culture and Sustainability

Internationaler Kongress im Rahmen des City Link Festivals am 12. September 2014 an der HCU Hamburg // 10:00 – 19:00 Uhr

Das City Link Netzwerk geht aus einer Kooperation zwischen Aktivist_innen, Künstler_innen, Architekt_innen, Kulturunternehmer_innen, Forscher_innen und weiteren Personen aus Kopenhagen und Hamburg hervor, bei der es um einen Austausch und der Verknüpfung von Ideen und konkreten Projekten einer nachhaltigen und kulturbasierten Stadtentwicklung geht. Am 5. September startet das einwöchige Festival in Hamburg mit einer Reihe von Ausstellungen, Exkursionen, Konzerten, Lesungen und anderen Aktionen von Akteur_innen beider Städte. Am Freitag, den 12. September findet schließlich der Kongress statt, bei der u.a. Sharon Zukin, Professorin der Soziologie am Brooklyn College and Graduate Center der City University of New York, eine Keynote halten wird:

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Critical Urban Theory or Urban Critical Theory or Just Critical Theory? (1 of 4)

Originally posted on The Rolling Blackout:

BOOK SYNOPSIS Cities for People, Not for Profit: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City, eds. Neil Brenner, Peter Marcuse, & Margit Mayer, (2012), New York: Routledge.

It seems almost late, compared to the original versions of these works, a conference held at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Berlin in November 2008, but it would be foolish to pass this collected volume up because it is as timely as ever.  From authors rooted in numerous fields of scholarship, sociology, politics, geography, urban planning, and urban design,  this book holds a sprightly discussion of the contemporary issues in critical urban studies under the auspices of global capitalism and its crises of economic and social instability. The authors unveil the usefulness of critical theory to urban problems, to highlight the rampant inequities intrinsic to the capitalism, but also the contradictions inherent in capitalism which make it only a stage…

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Golden State Urbanity: 28 History Books That Get At The Heart of Metropolitan California

Originally posted on Tropics of Meta:


For many Americans, the phrase “California history” sounds like an oxymoron. Born out of a Gold Rush and two World Wars, the Golden State, to easterners, has always seemed like the new kid on the block. Californians might have aided in such perceptions, notes the 1970s dean of West Coast literature, Joan Didion. “You might protest that no family has been in Sacramento Valley for anything approaching ‘always,’” she wrote, “But it is characteristic of Californians to speak grandly of the past as if it has simultaneously begun, tabula rasa, and reached a happy ending on the day the wagons started west.” For Didion, such depictions of the past cast melancholy over “those who participate in it,” because underlying the state’s origin story rest a belief that “we had long outlived our finest hour.”[1]

Yet, California with no uncertainty has a long past predating European arrival. In…

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