• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The SAGE Handbook of the 21st Century City focuses on the dynamics and disruptions of the contemporary city in relation to capricious processes of global urbanisation, mutation and resistance. An international range of scholars engage with emerging urban conditions and inequalities in experimental ways, speaking to new ideas of what constitutes the urban, highlighting empirical explorations and expanding on contributions to policy and design. The handbook is organised around nine key themes, through which familiar analytic categories of race, gender and class, as well as binaries such as the urban/rural, are readdressed. These thematic sections together capture the volatile processes and intricacies of urbanisation that reveal the turbulent nature of our early twenty-first century: Hierarchy: Elites and Evictions Productivity: Over-investment and Abandonment Authority: Governance and Mobilisations Volatility: Disruption and Adaptation Conflict: Vulnerability and Insurgency Provisionality: Infrastructure and Incrementalism Mobility: Re-bordering and De-bordering Civility: Contestation and Encounter Design: Speculation and Imagination This is a provocative, inter-disciplinary handbook for all academics and researchers interested in contemporary urban studies.

Introduction: Urban Churn
Introduction: Urban Churn
Suzanne Hall Ricky Burdett

North Mexico City, 2015, Aerial Archives / Alamy Stock Photo

Urbanisation exceeds the numbers. No matter how provocative the varied predictions that, by 2050, two-thirds of the world's human population will be urbanised, the volatile processes and intricacies of urbanisation surpass our expectations. In their introductory essay to our collected edition, Parnell and Robinson (2017) underscore that: ‘There is no common “urban” object.’ So too the city defeats quantifiable definition. The essays that comprise this book reveal the city as a capricious formation; a constructed and inhabited space emerging through incremental and abrupt compositions that stretch from backyards, to mayoral offices, to multinational speculators. They show how ...

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