First new post from the new blog.


Since posting, Paul Morley published this piece on the Salford and Media City, which is connected. Most accounts of Media City have been unfavourable – sometimes simple snobbery, sometimes a failure to understand the landscape and its history.This discussion is more nuanced, and well worth reading.

We hear a lot about the creative city these days. For city managers in the industrialised world, creativity is the way to go, meaning a rebalancing of urban economies away from manufacturing, and even financial services, towards advertising, the arts, culture, web design and so on. The chief advocate of the creative city is Richard Florida, a most entrepreneurially-minded sociologist. Florida is everywhere, and his concepts have been accepted by city leaders the world over. Good for him. His work, however, is predictive and future-oriented; there remains a notable deficit in the literature of the creative city as built, the ‘real’ creative city.

View original post 946 more words



Sponsored by cities@manchester

Wednesday 12th June 2013

10am – 4pm

University of Manchester

University Place 6.205

Oxford Road, Manchester.

A one day workshop on informal politics in the city, migration and informality.  The workshop will bring together those working on urban informality and migration, with the aim of teasing out the relevance of migration for understanding urban informality and highlighting the importance of the informal context for those working on migration.  We will do this by focusing on the different ways in which migrants do politics, here understood in a very broad sense as everyday politics – and in all their diversity: based on migrants’ own identity as migrants, religion, work, or neighbourhood based around issues of housing.  We will explore what kinds of visions of cities these different types of strategies promote and also how they contribute to the making of cities.  Papers will be based on research carried out in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Nouakchott, Dakar, and Harare.

Papers by: Debby Potts (Kings), Diana Mitlin (Manchester), Hannah Cross (Manchester), Jerónimo Montero Bressán (Manchester), Marina Wertheimer Becich (Sheffield), Tanja Bastia (Manchester), Uma Kothari (Manchester) Continue reading

Jerusalem light rail

Progressive Geographies

On Sunday I took a couple of hours to explore the fairly new Jerusalem light rail. It opened in late 2011 and when I was last here in 2009 it was still under construction. I’m staying near Damascus Gate, and there is a station right across the road. There is only one line so far (more are planned) which runs from Mount Herzl in the west to Heil Ha’Avir (Air Force Street) in the north east. The most interesting bit architecturally is Chords bridge just past Central Station, but it has also made Jaffa Road semi-pedestrianized.


Politically it was heavily contested because from Damascus Gate northwards it is built in East Jerusalem, captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967 and annexed since 1980 (the UN has ruled this illegal). It is part of a wider project of road and infrastructure building to unify the city, but it also links a…

View original post 42 more words

Some Urban/City titles now open access from the Ohio State UP [links provided]

The Press very gratefully acknowledges The Ohio State University Libraries for funding and overseeing the digitization of these titles.

Titles currently available on-line are [only Urban/City titles listed below]:

Aaron, Daniel Cincinnati: Queen City of the West, 1819–1838
Beja, Morris and David Norris, eds. Joyce in the Hibernian Metropolis: Essays
Blackford, Mansel G. The Lost Dream: Businessmen and City Planning on the Pacific Coast, 1890–1920
Bright, Michael Cities Built to Music: Aesthetic Theories of the Victorian Gothic Revival
  Continue reading

Color is Politics

Dr. Stephen Luis Vilaseca

“The phenomenological approach to space and the lived body reveals the two to be inseparable.” – Félix Guattari, “Space and Corporeity”

For French thinker and activist Félix Guattari (1930-1992), the built environment and the body are components of the self that exist parallel to one another. Buildings form who we are just as we constitute constructed space. Change to one will elicit an alteration in the other. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the case of Tirana, Albania. Edi Rama, mayor of Tirana from 2000 to 2011, used color as a political tool for social transformation. He literally painted the town in order to inspire a renewed sense of belonging. In the video for Ted Talks, Rama explains that a French EU official rushed to block the financing for the painting because the colors did not meet European standards. Rama threatened to hold a press conference denouncing the EU…

View original post 108 more words

Pavement to Parks: Plazas & Public Space

Urban Choreography

See on Scoop.itUrban Choreography

The San Francisco Parklet Manual is a comprehensive overview of the goals, policies, process, procedures and guidelines for creating a parklet in San Francisco. The Manual also serves as a resource for those outside of San Francisco working to establish parklet programs in their own cities.

Applicants and designers in San Francisco are strongly encouraged to read the Parklet Manual in its entirety when they are first thinking about proposing a parklet, and to refer to it often throughout the process. Understanding what the program is trying to achieve and the process and regulations for a successful parklet may reduce the time it takes to receive a permit, and will likely result in a superior parklet design.

Download: Download the full Parklet Manual

See on

View original post

Judith Butler, Dispossession

For Another Critique of the Pyramid

Stuart Elden’s blog (Progressive Geographies) features a description of Judith Butler’s forthcoming book Dispossession. The book apparently continues in the direction of Butler’s Arendtian reflections on protest in public space (cf. “Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street“), and on demonstrations as “passages, when the legitimacy of a regime is called into question, but when no new regime has yet come to take its place.” Also note that Derek Gregory recently posted some relevant videos on his blog, here.

View original post