Download A Companion to the City by Gary Bridge, Sophie Watson PDF

By Gary Bridge, Sophie Watson

ISBN-10: 0631235787

ISBN-13: 9780631235781

This better half comprises commissioned items from a intentionally extensive diversity of confirmed lecturers and new researchers. There are huge makes an attempt to incorporate either western and non-western views in addition to extra conventional validated methods and modern theorizations of the town. together with The Blackwell urban Reader (2002) the whole diversity of techniques to town and key members to the sphere are lined.

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However, this notion of the urban as discipline is not contrasted to a pastoral freedom. I am not counterpoising a brutal urban with an idealized rural. If comparisons need to be made I draw upon Bruce Chatwin's notion of the nomadic alternative. In a series of essays and particularly in his book The Songlines he argued that nomadism was the ``natural'' human condition (Chatwin 1987). The urban revolution was not a leap forward but a tethering of the human need to move. While Chatwin's biologizing of social relations needs to be treated with extreme care, or we will fall into the reactionary, antimodern lauding of the idealized nomad apparent in the work of Wilfred Thesinger and Laurens van der Post, he raises an important point about cities as places of compunction.

New cities do not arise by spontaneous generation. The spark of city economic life is passed on from older cities to younger. It lives on today in cities whose ancestors have long since gone to dust . . These links of life may extend ± perilously tenuous at times but unbroken ± backward through the cities of Crete, Phoenicia, Egypt, the Indus, Babylonia, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, back to C Ë atal HuÈyuÈk itself and beyond, to the unknown ancestors of C Ë atal HuÈyuÈk. Jane Jacobs, The Economy of Cities, 1969 To investigate the city is therefore a way of examining the enigmas of the world and our existence.

The city became part of the God-shaped hole of the modern world. The market city, based on individual adherence to the power of the market (I am what I consume), provides little in the way of cosmic significance. Consumptionand wealth-display provide only one layer of meaning and little by the way of spiritual depth and resistance to the contingencies of human life and suffering. The market gives us social positioning, not human understanding; social ranking, not communal meaning. At its existentialist bleakest the city becomes a setting for the meaningless passage of the individual through a blind universe, bereft of meaning.

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