Circulation and Urbanization is a foundational investigation into the history of the urban. Moving beyond both canonical and empirical portrayals, the book approaches the urban through a genealogy of circulation – a concept central to Western political thought and its modes of spatial planning. Locating architectural knowledge in a wider network of political history, legal theory, geography, sociology and critical theory, and drawing on maritime, territorial and colonial histories, Adams contends that the urban arose in the nineteenth century as an anonymous, parallel project of the emergent liberal nation state. More than a reflection of this state form or the product of the capitalist relations it fostered, the urban is instead a primary instrument for both: at once means and ends. Combining analytical precision with interdisciplinary insights, this book offers an astonishing new set of propositions for revisiting a familiar, yet increasingly urgent, topic. It is a vital resource for all students and scholars of architecture and urban studies. This book is part of the Society and Space series, which explores the fascinating relationship between the spatial and the social. These stimulating, provocative books draw on a range of theories to examine key cultural and political issues of our times, including technology, globalisation and migration.
An Archaeology of Circulation
That Cerdá placed circulation – vialidad – at the core of his theory of urbanization in an age in which biological concepts had themselves been circulating across disciplines is hardly surprising. What appears more unexpected is how Cerdá used this concept of vialidad as a political weapon with which to break open the anachronistic walled city and to materialize what he saw as a virtuous world of free and unlimited movement. In equal measures, this new world of urbanización would no longer have room for ‘politics’, just as it would have no further use for the burdensome ‘city’, insofar as the one was the product of the other. Although Cerdá seems to have unwittingly uncovered a potent ...