Progressive Geographies

MerrifieldUniversity of Georgia Press have a page up for Andy Merrifield’s forthcoming book The Politics of the Encounter: Urban Theory and Protest under Planetary Urbanization.

It’s part of their ever interesting Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation series.

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Experimental Geographies

In a recent issue of Critical Inquiry, W.J.T. Mitchell examines the particular image (or imaginary) that, in his view, links the Occupy Movement to the Arab Spring. The article is well worth a read even if I have strong reservations about the author’s reading of contemporary art in the second half of the paper. In particular, the author’s turn to the work of Antony Gormley as a point of departure for re-thinking “the problem of public art and the occupation of public space” is, it seems to me, deeply unsatisfying (though his reading of Wallinger’s State Britain is spot on). Setting aside for the moment some of my reservations towards the Occupy Movement, Mitchell does nevertheless make some important (if perhaps unremarkable) observations. I’ve included some select quotes below.

On the figure of occupation: “The figure that circulates globally, that embraces both Tahrir Square and Zuccotti Park, and has…

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Gazing upon the mediated architecture, video walls and fastidiousness of the esoterically sculpted digital installations of Seoul’s Digital Media City (DMC), it is hard not to think that you’ve somehow transferred from one city into another, without taking a step. A high-tech urban fantasy seamlessly superimposed onto the existing cityscape. Indeed in this way and in many others, Seoul can be thought of as a ‘Cyborg City’.

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Gentrification of the Christmas Village

Tis the season…


xmas_villageIf there is one cheesy Christmas tradition I indulge in, it’s the Christmas Village.  It started when Bryan and I got together with a lighthouse from Walgreens and an over-sized church from his mom.  Each year there’s at least one new piece that gets added.  They’re not perfect – knock-offs purchased for no more than $10 a piece.  Until this year…


Yep, the hipsters have moved into Christmas Village.  Since property values were so low (i.e., there was a sale at KMart) the new tap house came at a great price.  It’s between the vintage diner that was rescued and relocated from Hocking Hills and the church.  There’s also a lot down the street that was cleared recently (two out-of-scale carnival games were removed) that may potentially be the new location of a performing arts center.  It’s a Christmas tree lot for the time being (those were on sale…

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Great journal, great theme.

Progressive Geographies

Urban — New Series, 6

Call for Papers — ‘Urban Theory: States of the Art’

There will never be good urban planning without a consistent urban theory. This controversial aphorism could serve to open the debate proposed by the journal in a forthcoming special issue. Urban theory (the theory of the city and urbanisation processes) has had a complex historic relationship with planning practice and urban policies: anticipation of more or less happy worlds, expert dissection of already materialised urban phenomena, critical interpretation that re-imagines the past and the present of cities and territories, opening up a new horizon for them… The state of theoretical work is without a doubt an effective index of the health and the perspectives of the planning field, but could it also be a weapon loaded with future? Can we still devise theories that are able to change the facts of an increasingly complex and…

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Urban Geography Research Group: (DEADLINE TOMORROW Dec. 11)

RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2013

>> C A L L   F O R   S E S S I O N S

The Urban Geography Research Group (UGRG) is pleased to announce its call for sessions for the 2013 RGS-IBG Annual International Conference. The conference will be chaired by professor Jonathan Rigg (Durham University) and has ‘New Geographical Frontiers’ as its theme. Please note that the conference has returned to London and will be held at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS), London, on Wednesday 28 to Friday 30 August (with an opening reception on Tuesday 27 August). Further info is available at:

UGRG encourages submissions that are urban in focus, that are innovative and exciting, and that connect to the conference theme and/or the aims of the Urban Geography Research Group (see

Individuals or groups who would like to propose a session for UGRG sponsorship are invited to submit a session proposal to Luke Binns by 11thDecember 2012.

To be considered for sponsorship, please include:

  • the session title and abstract (max 400 words),
  • the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the session convenor(s), and
  • the format the session is going to take (paper session, panel discussion, etc.).

As usual, each session will be 1 hour 40 minutes in length. The format can range from paper or poster sessions, panel discussions to practitioner forums, and innovation is welcome. See: for guidance on alternative session formats.

However, it is expected that most sessions will contain five 20 minute papers (with time included in each for questions) or four 20 minute papers with discussion / questions at the end. If you propose an alternative format, please indicate this in your session proposal.

If you have any further questions regarding the above call contact Luke


Basak Tanulku finished her PhD research (2010) in the Department of Sociology, University of Lancaster. By adopting a relational-comparative perspective, her research demonstrates that gated communities cannot be generalized. Rather, gated communities are different on the basis of their target groups, master plans and histories of construction, as well as the cultural contexts from which they emerge. They produce different neighbourhood interactions, experiences of space and safety and relations with the wider urban context involving political and social tensions with various political actors.

 Keywords: moral capitalism, cities and spatio-moral fragmentation, gated communities, social differentiation 

I was a university student when I first started giving thought to the concept of a “moral” capitalism. It was a left-leaning friend who made me think about it, during a discussion, by asking me in a cynical way “Can capitalism be moral?” This question has become increasingly popular as a result of the latest…

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