This reference is a comprehensive study guide to the city. The text explains and evaluates the key ideas, informed by the latest research, adding the necessary historical context to situate the student in the literature and the essential debates. Organized in four sections The SAGE Companion to the City provides a systematic A-Z to understanding the city that explains the interrelations between society, culture, and economy.

Speed and Slowness

Speed and Slowness

Speed and slowness
AlanLatham and DerekMcCormack

This Chapter

  • Suggests that particular ideas about the pacing of city life have informed specific strategies of urban planning and ordering
  • Critiques the literature which states that the inexorable speeding up of city life is emaciating urban social life
  • Shows that speed and slowness are interrelated, with some aspects of city life slowing down as others speed up


One of the most obvious features of contemporary cities is their speed. Modern cities appear to be fast. Indeed, in the popular imagination they appear to be endlessly accelerating. The experience of this speed and acceleration is something about which both academic and cultural commentators are profoundly ambivalent. Writing just a few years before the First World War the Italian futurist ...

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