The Second Edition of Key Concepts in Geography explains the key terms? space, time, place, scale, landscape - that define the language of. KEY CONCEPTS IN URBAN GEOGRAPHY The Key Concepts in Human Geography series is intended to provide a set of companion texts for the core fields of. Key Concepts in Geography defines the key terms - space, time, place, scale, landscape - that inform the language of geography and define the geographical.
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Key Concepts in Geography | 𝗥𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗣𝗗𝗙 on ResearchGate | On Jan 1, , N.J. Clifford and others published Key Concepts in Geography. "This book clearly outlines key concepts that all geographers should readily be able to explain. It does so in a highly accessible way. It is likely to be a text that. Including ten new chapters on nature, globalization, development, and risk and a new section on practicing geography, this is a completely revised and updated.
If we think of these constructions as evidence of how the social transforms the material then we surely miss something of the dynamic processuality through which materiality comes to matter Latham and McCormack, Such work tended to ignore the desire of audiences to actively choose the consumer goods and entertainment choices that would make up their own modes of urbanised living. So any conception of materiality needs to have a sense of how the physical capacity to make and unmake things see Graham, b and, perhaps equally importantly, to make things matter, are crucial issues. Transport technologies, most notably the railway, were central to this process. The mythic, essentialised nature of sacred Rome mobilises hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims; this aspect is in turn relational in that it ties Rome into networks of faith communities in all parts of the world; and it then requires the institutionalisation and regulation of these networks in a way that must balance sacred claims to space with the secular rights of Roman and Italian citizens. Third, contemporary migration is taking place at a time when many migrants not only come from countries with a well developed national identity but also with a well defined desire to maintain that sense of identification. There is a social geography to all of this, of course.
The inclusion of the practising chapters has been particularly useful in providing my students with an introduction into the more practical application of geography which they have enjoyed immensely. It is a unique textbook for every level of geography students and professionals.
This book clearly outlines key concepts that all geographers should readily be able to explain. The editors have done a fantastic job. Good all round text which will support a variety of resarch projects, of a geographical nature or content. A goof reference book for researcher in Geography, that can be valuable even at Masters and doctoral level. An excellent complimentary volume to the Key Methods book which concisely outlines geographical concepts, with relevance to physical and human geographers.
My class has been switched. Thus I may adopt it at a later date when the class is adopted but I will be teaching a different class in the fall. Chapter One: Histories of Geography PDF. Chapter Interconnected Worlds PDF. Skip to main content. Other Titles in: Download flyer Recommend to Library. Description Contents Reviews Features Preview "This book clearly outlines key concepts that all geographers should readily be able to explain. Dr Victoria Randlett. October 28, Report this review.
Miss Mathilde Christensen. May 1, Dr Mark Holton. School of Geography, University of Plymouth. April 20, Dr Erdem Bekaroglu. Geography, Ankara University.
December 11, Dr Karen Parkhill. Prior to the s geography in general was preoccupied by two principal themes: Geography was thus essentially an idiographic discipline a discipline concerned with singular empirical cases closely aligned with the humanities, and a discipline where the division between human and physical geography was blurry humans were after all part of the physical environment.
First, it was convinced that the aim of geography should be to find general laws that defined the formation of geographical relationships. Second, to discover these relationships geography had to develop rigorous and empirically testable theories. And third, geography had to adopt established scientific techniques such as statistical analysis, hypothesis testing, or mathematical modelling, to properly test these theories.
Thus, to be scientific, data needed to be measurable and countable. And to be rigorous, data needed to be scientifically tested against some theory about how the world worked. While these principles may appear straightforward enough and even rather quaint and a little naive to contemporary ears, they represented a revolution within the conservative world of early s geography.
However, the sub-discipline could not be insulated from the broader changes taking place across western societies in the s and s. For Barnett, this turn involved a threefold rejection of Marxism, a methodological interest in ethnography drawing on methods of qualitative social research or textual analysis and a commitment to social constructionism seeing place and social identity as being constituted through texts, images and discourses.
It also implied a sensitivity to difference, be this based on gender, race, sexuality or other forms of identity Anderson, More recently, there has been an expansion of the cultural turn into the field of everyday life. Certainly, not all cultural geographers share this concern.
For Anderson This is no longer the case and, whether one agrees with its relevance or not, Introduction recent urban geographical work has included work on tending gardens, sitting in airports, sitting in cafes and using telephones e. Above all, however, urban geography is multidisciplinary. Its areas of concern bleed into those of other areas of human geography economic geography, social geography, political geography and so on and other social science disciplines sociology, anthropology, economics, planning, to name the four closest.
As the editors of a volume entitled Key Thinkers on Space and Place would reflect in The work of some of these figures has, of course, been unevenly adopted in reframing conventional understandings of the urban, but increasingly their impact is being felt.
As for quantitative geography, it remains a vigorous strand of urban geography, which continues to define new research agendas for the discipline as a whole see Wilson, ; Batty, ; Albrecht, The concepts We have chosen to select and organise the concepts in terms of five overarching areas of concern: Quantitative geographers became fascinated with urban structure.
They presented a series of intriguing intellectual puzzles. Why were some cities so large, and why did they appear to be getting more so? Why were some industries concentrated in some places and not others? How did transportation networks work? Why were land rents in some parts of cities so high and others so low? What determined the flow of people and information between different cities?
In a short period of time and borrowing with enthusiasm from other disciplines that shared an interest in the spatial distribution of human activity such as economics and sociology, quantitative urban geographers developed an impressive range of theories through which cities might be understood.
And, at the same time, cities offered a wealth of existing and potential data sets — population censuses, railroad freight bills, electoral rolls, newspaper circulation figures, highway flow rates, to name just a few examples — with which geographers could get to work developing empirically rigorous theoretical models to answer all of these questions.
This section is concerned primarily with concepts that allow us to think about the dynamic spatial relations within and between cities. Traditionally, much of urban geography has focused on such relations. Central place theory, locational analysis, diffusion models, network analysis, systems theory and suchlike allowed quantitative urban geographers to describe the structure and morphology of cities and city systems with ever greater sophistication see Gottmann, ; Haggett, ; Pred, ; Berry, ; Johnston, Nonetheless, this quantitative urban geography that was so confident and so intellectually dominant in the s and s also came to face a series of critiques of its more extravagant claims about its ability to understand the spatial dynamics of cities, particularly as the pace, density and intensity of urban life has transformed.
The entry on centrality discusses more recent attempts to consider and conceptualise the role of downtowns and central business districts in cities.
Unsurprisingly, these questions about location saw the rise of a linked, but separate, sub-discipline of transport geography. In many ways, the recent upsurge in work on mobility deals with the terrain usually occupied by transport geography, which has had a long and substantial contribution to urban geography.
Yet it has often been boxed off, left to those with an interest in port systems, road pricing or rail travel. The dynamic between the logics of centrality and mobility then forms the backdrop to the discussion of global cities. This is a field of study Introduction that has boomed over the last two decades and has been an inevitable partner of the vast literature on globalisation in all its forms and conceptual shapes.
This body of work has been driven primarily by cases and theories derived from economic geography, and sees cities as being defined by their ability to hold down circuits of wealth, employment and capital. There is a subtle difference in perspective here with the literature on transnational urbanism, which has emerged as the study of flows of ideas, practices, peoples and commodities between and within contemporary urban centres.
The human flows that move between cities — either as tourists or migrant workers, either temporarily moving or going from one sedentary life to another — have tended to be defined in contrast to globalisation, allowing a tracing of how particular ethnic groups organise themselves across established national boundaries. They can be highly visible — Chinatowns being a classic example — or they can be largely hidden from mainstream society, as many migrant groups seek to establish and embed themselves through independent means.
We begin by considering the relationship between cities and nature, and how the urban environment is not necessarily unnatural, but is better understood as a kind of hybrid of the natural and social.
The discussion cuts across a range of themes that have been exciting theorists, such as urban political ecology Keil, ; Wolch, and animals in cities Wolch, The relationship between human actors and nature has been an important new field of study in human geography e.
Theorists have become interested in the diverse materiality through which social practice comes into being. So, they are not just interested in people and language, but also the complex networks of bodies, objects, technologies and imaginaries through which urban space is constituted.
This has been a key aspect of recent debates concerning urban infrastructure, which seeks to explain the socio-technical constitution of the bits and pieces of urban systems such as cables, power supplies and satellite that help urban society stick together. These mechanisms shape the experience of urban life, but are often 9 Introduction hidden literally and metaphorically from our attention. And it has also invigorated debates in the field of architecture, both in terms of the networks of relations that come together to make a building happen and also through an understanding of how buildings are used, both in the everyday sense of home and housing and in ceremonial, identitymarking institutions such as state parliaments or museums.
These geographers were accused of having overlooked the social and political dimensions of the urban forms that they studied, or even excluded an interest in human experience. By seeing human actors as driven by neo-classical presupposition of strict economic rationality and, further, by suggesting that the only dimensions of human action that could be studied scientifically were those that could be rigorously measured, quantitative urban geography was blind to what it is that makes humans human.
Emotion, memory, our ability to form meaningful attachments with each other, our capacity for wonder, all had no place in quantitative urban geography. A key issue, however, was an unwillingness to accept that how they envisioned the urban was a very loaded decision. In contrast, humanistic geographers such as Edward Relph, Yi Fu Tuan and David Ley suggested a quite different way of doing urban geography, one that in the words of Anne Buttimer They pointed out not only that women and indeed children experienced urban space in very different ways to men, but also that urban space was gendered in all sorts of complicated and rarely acknowledged ways see Ley and Samuels, ; Ley, ; Women and Geography Study Group of the IBG, ; Rose, In her book Visual Methodologies , Gillian Rose set out a comprehensive framework for thinking through how visual methods used by social scientists could unveil some of these experiences.
Introduction These literatures underpinned the message that cities are more than physical structures: Theorists such as Schivelbusch and Schwarzer have argued that visuality is central to the modern urban experience: Panoramic vision turns the view of the city into a sequence of disembod ied and abstracted forms.
Schivelbusch realizes that since rail passengers perceive specific objects poorly, they tend not to look closely or carefully. Speed anaesthetizes vision. Sight becomes absentminded. A new type of building is seen. This is not the building carefully designed by the architect, but instead a building interconnected with other buildings, other objects, and other images in the mind.
Schwarzer, Moreover, they are often dominated by complex forms of visuality in how we make sense of urban space, most frequently expressed through the medium of photography, which has been important in the rise of cinematic productions and still images alike. To consider this further, the next entry explores the importance of the body as an important site of research in itself, not least given the growing obsession with physical appearance, body shape and fashion, which have all been important sectors in the contemporary western economy.
We then focus on how urban experience can be understood via the concept of virtuality, not just in terms of the digital, but in terms of an experience that points to an imaginative and future-oriented sense of 11 Introduction experience. Finally, we consider a concept — surveillance — that allows us to get a handle on how various forms of governance infiltrate many of the most everyday of urban practices and routines.
The increasing sophistication of camera technology has allowed public spaces to be increasingly monitored visually. Yet surveillance means much more than this, as corporations seek to scan consumer behaviour in the search for greater market sensitivity, governments construct databases to watch over who is part of the national community and the military adopts cartographic techniques in order to enhance their operations often against civilian targets.
As with the humanistic and feminist critiques of quantitative urban geography, the emergence of a Marxian or political economic urban geography brought with it a whole host of new thinkers, and intellectual traditions. Marxian geographers were inspired not by established geographers such as Halford Mackinder and Walter Christaller, but to Engels with his writings on Victorian Manchester, Lenin and Luxemburg with their writings on the geographical expansion and intensification of capitalism, Lefebvre with his theses about the urbanisation of capitalism, and Marx himself.
Marxian urban geography was also concerned with an entirely new set of research themes trade unions, political activists, ideological fields, the dynamics of capitalist accumulation and a whole new range of empirical concerns, not least of which was understanding how the economic structures of a city were intertwined with its political institutions.
In , David Harvey published Social Justice and the City, now seen as a turning point in the use of Marxian concepts in urban geography. Starting out as a politically liberal meditation on the relationship between cities and social justice, Harvey came to the conclusion that liberal — that is to say mainstream — social science was incapable of understanding the underlying causes of the many inequalities and social injustices that structured the experience of the modern city.
His arguments inspired a Introduction wide range of social geographic research. This is not to deny the significance of quantitative, statistical measures of segregation as captured by census data and other socio-economic surveys, but rather to take a more reflective, integrated approach to considering the categorisation of such data.
Since the journal Antipode had been publishing Marxian inspired along with feminist and other critiques of quantitative geography. But Social Justice and the City acted as a catalyst in redefining what a radical urban geography would be about — not least because it asserted, first, that geography was absolutely central to the dynamics of the capitalist system and, second, that cities in particular were key sites for the realisation of surplus value — that they were money-machines. In the following years, a multitude of geographical scholars have extended the scope of Marxian urban geography.
Indeed, if quantitative geography defined the dominant intellectual trajectory within urban geography from the mids into the s, political, economic and Marxian approaches dominated urban geography through much of the s and early s and helped shape the dominant concepts used in explaining the form of urban politics. However, Marxian geography was but one of a series of streams that entered urban geography via sociology.
An important theme of urban studies throughout the twentieth century has been that of community. Again, Marxian thinkers have been influential 13 Introduction 14 here, particularly those of the Frankfurt School, associated with the writings of Theodore Adorno and Max Horkheimer.
Such work tended to ignore the desire of audiences to actively choose the consumer goods and entertainment choices that would make up their own modes of urbanised living. Recent work in geography, sociology, anthropology and media studies has tackled this issue head-on, particularly in terms of the sites of consumption in cities, from the spectacular to the mundane. An understanding of the media is important in terms of making sense of how cities are represented, and in the ways in which the urban is produced, distributed and consumed.
This is an emerging area of urban studies, not one that geographers have contributed a whole lot to. Yet in media studies and sociology, attempts are being made to conceptualise how media is at the same time a material practice revolving around television studios, production companies and satellite infrastructure , a textual representation in terms of its distribution of symbolic collections of words and images that are packaged, sold and consumed , and a relational process, in that places are linked together by media practices.
The entry on public space described some of the debates around everyday life in cities, particularly the apparent decline of political expression in public. It is suggested that — contrary to the orthodox view of there being a decline in sociality in cities — there are many new and vibrant forms of urban sociality.
Being seen in public is an important aspect of this, and multiple publics often seek out symbolic sites of commemoration or collective identity to express particular world-views. Our final entry concerns the places and practices of commemoration within urban space, given their importance both as a form of representation of a particularly admired historical figure, a source of contest and conflict as was the case in post East and Central Europe or as a focus of collective or individual displays of grief, anger or joy.
Just as metropolitan city-regions developed in the post-war period in ways unrecognisable from the early industrial city, so urban geography developed as a discipline Wheeler, In its earliest manifestations, such as the Central Place Theory of Walter Christaller, or the concentric-zonal, sectoral and multiple nuclei models of Ernest Burgess, Homer Hoyt and Harris and Ullman respectively, who each argued that cities had a discernible internal structure, see figures 1.
The power of most cities has tended to emerge due to locational advantage of some sort. From the simplest forms of exchange, when peasant farmers literally brought their produce from the fields into the densest point of interaction — giving us market towns — the significance of central places to surrounding territories began to be asserted.
As cities grew in complexity, the major civic institutions, from seats of government to religious buildings, would also come to dominate these points of convergence. These manifestations of bustling centrality appeared to obey a gravitational pull.
In certain extreme cases, such as Madrid and Brasilia, new capital cities were located at the central point of national territory for the most rational form of centralised governance. Nonetheless, for most modern cities the exemplar of centrality is its central business district. Groups of landowners began to tussle over building heights, subways and streetcars from the earliest periods of the modern city.
Business groups have long been aware of the reduced transaction costs involved in concentrating business activities, most notably the minimisation of travel time when moving between clients.
By the late nineteenth century, technological change had hastened the development of skyscrapers in business districts, much to the chagrin of those sections of the middle classes whose views were obscured by the new high-rises, as well as existing landowners whose property values were undermined by the sudden onslaught of new built space.
All functions occupying space within the CBD have in common the need for centrality and their ability to purchase accessible locations. Within the CBD there are diversities which are revealed by the distinctive functional 1 Location and Movement districts and by the individual locational qualities of specific functions … The retail trade quarter is often referred to as the node and is usually on the most central space; the office quarter is well marked and may have sub sections such as financial or legal districts.
Besides these horizontal divisions, there are distinctive vertical variations in the distribution of functions; the ground floors of multi storey buildings are occupied by activities with the greatest centrality needs. Herbert, The sight of boarded up shops and theatres became commonplace and a growing fear of downtown became internalised within social discourse.
As Robert Beauregard argues in his important book Voices of Decline To this extent, the discourse func tions to site decline in the cities.
It provides a spatial fix for our more general ized insecurities and complaints, thereby minimizing their evolution into a more radical critique of American society. Beauregard, Thus, central business districts are crucial attributes in the governance of territory, and agglomeration, creativity and control are key themes in understanding the significance of centrality in the contemporary metropolis.
However, commentators are now increasingly thinking through models of growth that reflect a sharply changing set of metropolitan dynamics. Journalistic forays into these new landscapes revealed some fascinating stories. This disrupts the conventional image of the city: These fragmented, decentred cities pose numerous problems for analysts.
One major issue is that of definition: Each implies a shift away from classical or even modern conceptions of the city, symbolised by the cathedral and the city square. These metropolitian landscapes reflect the importance of speed to the constitution of city life Hubbard and Lilley, Thus, the rhythmic nature of urban public space is important, not least in terms of how the needs of various users drawn to central places are resolved, planned for and regulated.
The reclamation of human-scale streetscapes as a focus of collective memory in the urban arena has been an important trend Hebbert, For Amin and Thrift The city has no completeness, no centre, no fixed parts. Instead, it is an amalgam of often disjointed processes and social heterogeneity, a place of near and far connections, a concatenation of rhythms; always edging in new directions.
The return to the centre: For Saskia Sassen: At the global level, a key dynamic explaining the place of major cities in the world economy is that they concentrate the infrastructure and the ser vicing that produced a capability for global control. The latter is essential if geographic dispersal of economic activity whether factories, offices, or financial markets is to take place under continued concentration of own ership and profit appropriation.
Sassen, This is particularly marked in cities with architecturally or physically distinguished cores. It is impossible to generalise about this. Cities as diverse as London, Barcelona and Rome have each retained vibrant central cities for a number of reasons e. This term applies to that part of the central city which is contiguous with the CBD, is characterised by ageing structures and derives many of its features from the fact that it has served as a buffer zone between the CBD and the more stable residential districts of the city.
A fundamental aspect of the revival of downtowns was their re-use as a residential neighbourhood, as social groups of varying degrees of affluence populated central cities. A key part of this rediscovery of downtown is the growing demand for inner-city residences, charted by theorists of gentrification e.
Allen , reporting on research carried out in Manchester, England, identifies three principal groups that have re colonised these areas for different reasons. Each of these groups has different levels of cultural skill or capital, social networks and hobbies, and housing histories.
But what united them was an interest in the city as a playground, a resource to be enjoyed. As Slater The density of city life and the vibrant socialities it affords retains a powerful hold over planners and policy-makers. This city is seen to be under attack, a battery of writers asserted, by a combination of gentrification, in-town shopping malls, franchised national chain retail, festival marketplaces and Starbucks M.
Smith, In cities such as New York, artists had gradually been rediscovering the warehouses and lofts of the industrial inner-city, drawn by cheap rents and raw, flexible industrial-sized floorplates.
These partially remade city centres became more attractive to white collar workers, and — along with interventionist policing — downtowns became gentrified. Increasingly, cities around the world have bought into the heavily marketed creative cities policy formula, Centrality consciously branding themselves as buzzing, creative metropoles Rantisi and Leslie, Reinvestment in the built environment is a key issue here.
Conservation, anti-congestion measures and a reaction to modernist comprehensive redevelopment have reinforced and preserved the desirability and quality of life in old city centres While, This has met with some criticism, however. On the one hand, the speed of transfer of this policy message has been attacked for its unrealistic assumptions Peck, Is centrality still important in cities?
To conclude, the city centre, downtown or urban core has a very strong presence within popular urban imaginaries. In one sense, developments in technology and the continuing desire to escape the congestion of central cities would still seem to render the need for centrality as illogical. Graham and Marvin To the municipal juris dictions in old urban cores, securing the financial and technological expertise to update infrastructure, whilst also facing the fiscal and social crises surrounding deindustrialisation and social polarisation, poses enor mous challenges.
Yet the very problems of downtowns — of their age and apparent lack of suitability for contemporary living — are also their greatest advantages. This is a simplified story, applicable primarily to US downtowns. Yet there has been a renewed interest in city centres in recent years in cities worldwide.
A number of important processes are involved here: However, critics have pointed to processes of displacement and gentrification, and the power of property developers and corporate leisure groups in shaping urban politics downtown. The History of Residential Hotels in the United States gives a fascinating insight to the culture of the rooming house that once predominated many American cities. The Rise of Urban Tourism in the United States, —, which shows the longevity of popular desire to visit central cities for leisure.
The flow of traffic, the back and forth of commuter trains, the screech of trams, the pulsing of millions of phone calls through copper and fibre optic cables, the step, step, step, of thousands upon thousands of people going about their business, the sway of bodies moving to a popular song in a late night bar or club.
And this is to say nothing of the flow of food, drink, water and other provisions that provide cities with the basics of life. Nor of the counter movement of solid and liquid wastes that the modern cities produce each day.
In fact, once you start thinking about cities as entities that are constantly in movement, the list of things that this movement — this mobility — includes is near to unending. Quantitative geography and transport geography A central problem facing contemporary urban geography — and indeed the social sciences more generally — is how this buzz of movement should be accounted for. Of course, in all sorts of ways urban geography has been concerned with mobility from its conception.
In the s and s the leading figures of the Chicago School of urban sociologists argued that a key element defining the emerging American industrial metropolis was its fluidity. Drawing inspiration from the German social philosopher Georg Simmel, the Chicago School emphasised how the life of the modern metropolis was defined in all sorts of ways by the circulation of people and information within and beyond the metropolis.
Louis Wirth analysed the ways in which the urban dweller was defined through their mobility, adopting a range of different roles as they passed through the different parts of the city. Robert Park see community studied the ways the newspaper channelled the flow of information through the metropolis.
In detailed case studies of the hobo, immigrant communities and itinerant communities of association like the taxi dance halls, the Chicago School spent a great deal of effort attempting to understand marginal groups whose character was defined to a great extent by their fluidity.
Indeed, Ernest Burgess in Sheller and Urry, One of the key concerns of quantitative geography was how distance and patterns of connection — road and rail networks, telecommunication systems and so on — influenced the amount of movement that occurred between different places. In particular, influential strands of quantitative geography focused upon how the constraints imposed by transportation — both monetary it requires resources to move things from one place to another and temporal moving across space takes time — structured the economic dynamics of economic development.
Quantitative geographers developed a range of analytical models from simple locational analysis and gravity models, to linear programming and factor and network analysis to explore these spatio-temporal dynamics. Given the importance of transport to much of this quantitative work it is not surprising that in the s and s transport geography, or transportation geography, emerged into one of the central subdisciplines within human geography see Eliot Hurst, ; Hoyle and Knowles, And, as transport geography grew in significance within the discipline, the methods and techniques that it had developed simultaneously became influential in urban planning, urban design, and other areas of urban management.
The mobility paradigm Nonetheless, for all the success of quantitative transport geography, conceptually it offers a quite narrow interpretation of what the movement that animates cities is about. As Jean-Paul Rodrigue Rodrigue et al. It seeks to link spatial constraints and attributes with the origin, the destination, the extent, the nature and the purpose of movement.
Mobility This implicitly leaves out a great deal of movement that takes place within cities. It makes no mention of the circulation of water and waste upon which cities depend see infrastructure. It does not take any account of the movement of non-human habitants of cities, plants, wildlife, pets, livestock, etc. Nor does it allow much space to think about all the movement that takes place in cities not oriented towards travelling from one destination to another; the pleasures of street cruising and hanging out in cars, Sunday strolls, dog walking or jogging, to name just a few examples.
Put another way, transport geography is simply about getting from A to B, it is not about the journey the movement itself; it is oriented towards the narrowly instrumental. As such, the purely quantitative accounts favoured by transport geography tend to freeze the movement they are describing, reducing it to an abstract vector between two points. That transport geography should frame movement in such a way is not inherent to the nature of the sub-discipline.
As David Keeling Transportation is quintessentially geographic, so it seems surprising that anxiety still exists about whether transport geographers have strayed from the core theories and methodologies of geography.
Have transport geographers lost touch with the core principles of their discipline in order to make their research more relevant to others? Are they stuck in the narrow confines of network structures and flows, unable to explicate the multiple ways that transportation shapes human activity across the globe? Of course, it should be stressed that within the remit of transport geography the ways quantitative accounts flatten the experience of movement is not necessarily a problem.
If the aim of transport geography is simply to describe movement within a defined transportation system and consider ways the efficiency in terms of overall cost, average journey time, etc.
But, if our aim is to account for the buzz of movement mentioned in the introduction then there is a need to go beyond the boundaries of transport geography and the tools of quantitative analysis.
This is what the mobility research paradigm Sheller and Urry, that has emerged in the past decade out of the work of a diverse range of social scientists interested in mobility and movement of all kinds 29 1 Location and Movement seeks to do.
Recognising — as transport geography did, as too in their limited way the Chicago School did — the centrality of mobility to the construction of contemporary industrial and post-industrial societies, a diverse collective of human geographers, sociologists and other social scientists have been attempting to undertake a thorough redefinition of what social science research should involve and what it should focus on.
Extending, and radicalising, the insights, of quantitative geography that patterns of connection and movement define or perhaps more accurately, construct our social worlds in all sorts of fundamental ways, mobility theorists argue that social theory should start from the premise that the world is defined by movement and fluidity not by stasis and structure see Thrift, ; Urry, ; Amin and Thrift, ; Sheller and Urry, ; Sheller and Urry, ; Cresswell, In the words of Mimi Sheller and John Urry Travel [and movement] has been seen as a black box, a neutral set of technologies and processes predominately permitting forms of economic, social, and political life that are seen as explicable in terms of other more powerful processes.
Automobility and other mobilities That sounds very abstract. And in many ways it is. Nonetheless, the sense of what Sheller and Urry are arguing for can be illustrated through the example of the automobile. One of the definitive objects of contemporary industrial society, the automobile is a mode of personal transportation, a signifier of status, an aesthetic statement, a symbol of individual freedom and the ultimate consumption good, as well as being a ubiquitous presence in contemporary cities Sachs, ; Miller, ; Wollen and Kerr, Indeed, the philosopher Roland Barthes Mobility 31 Figure 1.
In a very real sense the automobile defines the patterns of social organisation and interaction that characterise contemporary urban life: And, yet, the social sciences, from urban geography, through to sociology and even urban studies, has failed, as Sheller and Urry Industrial sociology, consumption studies, transportation studies and urban analyses have each been largely static, failing to consider how the car reconfigures urban life, with novel ways of dwelling, travelling, and socialising in and through an automobilised time space.
Automobility impacts not only on local public spaces and opportunities for coming together, but also on the formation of gendered subjectivities, familial and social networks, spatially segregated urban neighbourhoods, national images and aspirations to modernity, and global relations ranging from transnational migration to terrorism and oil wars.
The most obvious dimension of drawing together is the infrastructural ecology that the automobile is dependent upon: There is another, equally intricate, sociolegal ecology of insurance companies, government statutes, local bylaws, accident claims companies, traffic police, parking wardens, that has grown up to regulate, order and, where necessary, discipline the masses of cars or to be more accurate, car-human hybrids that populate contemporary cities see Beckman, ; Jain, ; Latham and McCormack, ; Merriman, ; Dodge and Kitchin, Jack Katz has written about the distinctive forms of affective attachment that drivers in Los Angeles have developed for their cars.
While, to take another example, Robyn Dowling has described how for many suburban women, car ownership has not only become pivotal to the way they manage the daily working and childcare routines, but the car and its interior space have come to embody the sense of care and love mothers have for their children. Of course, the automobile is by no means the sole armature of mobility in the contemporary world. Peter Adey , Tim Cresswell , and Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchen have described the ways that air travel has become an increasingly pervasive element of urban life, generating a novel range of new spatial-temporalities.
Mobility Indeed, in all sorts of ways airports with their hotels, offices, masstransportation systems and shopping malls, are coming to resemble mini-cities. And other writers have shown how the mobility inherent in practices such as mass tourism Sheller and Urry, , transmigration Conradson and Latham, a, , the use of mobile telephony Katz and Aakhus, , or the internet Wellman, ; Wellman and Haythornthwaite, , structure contemporary urban life in all sorts of interesting ways.
And all this is to say nothing of the phenomenal movement of goods, commodities and information that globalised cities both organise and are dependent upon see Appadurai, ; Castells, ; Amin and Thrift, In fact, the more one looks, the more one finds the potential to understand all urban phenomenon as in some sense mobile.
Central propositions of the mobility paradigm The central point of the mobility paradigm is that it is both possible and productive to interpret cities as organised through multiple forms of movement, rhythms and speeds. The question, then, is what exactly does that mean for how urban geography should research cities?
One way to answer this question would be simply to continue to list all the ways that cities are defined through mobility. Another way to address this is to draw up a list of general conceptual propositions that define the new mobility paradigm as a way of thinking about the social world. So, at the risk of over-simplification, we can summarise the mobility paradigm into eight key propositions: The world is made up of a heterogeneous multitude of time-spaces.
The social sciences need to become post-humanist.
The social is made up of non-human and human actants. That is to say, social theory should not be based on the assumption that the nation state is the natural home of society.
To understand society, social scientists need to focus not just on rationality, but also on the affective dimensions of life. Society needs to be understood through and through as socio-technical. The principle task of social theory as a kind of metaphor making. The kinds of metaphors used to describe reality come, in all sorts of ways, to define this reality.
Metaphors also delimit how we understand problems. So in place of metaphors like structure, agency, etc. The turn towards mobility within the social sciences in general — and urban geography in particular — is still relatively recent, and the mobility paradigm remains a diffuse and rapidly evolving intellectual movement.
Nonetheless, in prompting urban geographers to re-consider such fundamental notions as community what does it mean when community is mediated through the mobilities of the automobile, or telephone, or internet? Despite what the title might suggest, the book is as much about a human geography of mobility as it is a about a sociology of mobility. Yet the nature of this beast has been difficult to pin down, particularly when it is applied to the study of cities.
Generally speaking, there are two schools of thought on the 35 1 Location and Movement nature of global cities. On the one hand, there is a model based upon scale, network and hierarchy. This has been seen as based upon a static, fixed notion of the world, where cities can be identified as a single entity, then categorised, compared, contrasted and debated.
The other school of thought sees globalisation as a process, disputes an easy identification of cities as objects and emphasises flows and movements between actors operating in the spatial formations that we know as cities.
This division has been debated vigorously within geography and other disciplines, and the discussion that follows is an inevitably brief attempt to chart out some of its contours. From world city to global city 36 Although theorists such as Peter Hall and Jean Gottmann had provided a significant overview of the growing power of major cities, the emergence of world and global cities as a self-knowing concept is usually dated to the research agenda set out by John Friedmann and Goetz Wolff , in an article published in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, which remains one of the key arenas for debates around the topic.
Their argument set out a series of key restructuring processes — economic, social, physical, political — which are often difficult to disentangle, yet which taken together suggested a near-total transformation of how cities are theorised. Interestingly, the case study that inspired Friedmann and Wolff was Los Angeles, a spatial formation characterised by key post-industrial economic sectors such as military technology and film production.
This point is revisited below. New York, London, Tokyo , which, as the title implies, shifted concern to the three key cities as the apex of the increasingly financialised world economy of the s. Rather, it was the cluster of interacting producer services firms that gave cities their ability to influence global flows.
Thus, while world cities could be identified from at least the rise of world imperialism, Paris, London and Lisbon being major command and control centres in earlier centuries, Sassen was charting the specific locus of her chosen three global cities in terms of their power in shaping or coordinating the world economy of the s and s. The concept of global city was thus seized upon by policy-makers, business and academia alike, as it arrived at a moment when globalisation had firmly arrived on the agenda as a vital area of study.
Scholarly debate on the area had expanded into fields of representation, cultural identity, and the nature of the concept as a geographical problematic, as well as quantitative empirical testing, which reflected its purchase among scholars, not only those working in the field of the urban.
In the remainder of this discussion, several of these areas are briefly addressed: Elsewhere in this book we discuss how the cognate fields of transnationalism and mobilities have developed and deepened understandings of distanciated social identities and material and embodied travel. Cities and global economies In an attempt to deepen understanding of the specific, measurable activities that link cities together in a global economy, a significant research network emerged around the Globalisation and World Cities GaWC cluster at Loughborough University in the late s in the UK.
This entailed a categorisation of cities based on their relative connectivity, measured in material terms by data on internet connections, airline passenger traffic and office location patterns, particularly in advanced producer services such as law, accountancy, advertising and finance. As they argue: Beaverstock et al. This shift has been accompanied by a retheorisation of how cities are imagined. Amin , seeking to make sense of the distanciation of economic transactions in other words, the stretching of social interaction over many miles and continents , poses two viewpoints as to how cities can be understood.
Thus we cannot assume that cities are cohesive entities. Whichever side one takes on this debate, it should be stressed that despite the abstract diagrams or tables that identify these global cities, there are specific clusters or sites where interactions often face-to-face and embodied take place. Here we can see the significance of fixity and locational specificity as opposed to pure flow. This has often been related to the nature of office markets in such cities, characterised by the popularity of high-rise buildings and the tendency for advanced producer services — such as law, accountancy, insurance, architecture and advertising — to cluster around major commercial sites, thus intensifying inter-firm interactions.
Furthermore, the social practices that these buildings house have been the subject of some fascinating research, such as on gendered work practices in investment banks McDowell, , elite social networks such as expatriate clubs Beaverstock, , and the spatialisation of money and finance Leyshon and Thrift, Global city discourses There is another way of considering this, which is to see global cities as self-generating discourses.
Influenced by the broad sweep of poststructuralism through geography and sociology, academics began to take greater care in how apparently neutral concepts influence real social action. Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, — constantly emphasised the need for skyscraper office buildings because of the imagined challenge from Paris and Frankfurt, for example. A further issue is that while these small areas of capital accumulation — we could call them footprints — may have huge impacts on surrounding housing and labour markets, it is nonetheless true that the excessive focus on financial clusters may divert attention from mundane, but in aggregate terms significant, economic zones such as small businesses, distribution parks, informal economies of unpaid or semi-legal work, or even criminal economies.
This is particularly important when considering the importance of underdeveloped cities in Africa, Asia and Latin America, which may plug into global economic flows in less spectacular ways Sidaway and Power, ; Shatkin, ; Simone, To illustrate this, consider the following four areas: The peculiar geography of SARS — with a concentration of clusters in Southeast Asia but with an outlier in Toronto — highlights the increasing trade and travel links between Chinese cities and the primate Canadian metropolis.
As Harris Ali and Keil continue, while European port cities were always significant transmission points for disease in the pre-modern and modern periods, the contemporary situation has aided the spread of epidemics.
This is for two Global Cities reasons: This has a huge impact on the everyday practices within the secular city, along with its urban politics McNeill, b. In the extended social and cultural networks found in most major cities, religious institutions have key functions in providing a focus for diaspora groups. The mythic, essentialised nature of sacred Rome mobilises hundreds of thousands of visitors and pilgrims; this aspect is in turn relational in that it ties Rome into networks of faith communities in all parts of the world; and it then requires the institutionalisation and regulation of these networks in a way that must balance sacred claims to space with the secular rights of Roman and Italian citizens.
Similarly, the construction of religious buildings such as mosques — and local responses to these events — reveal deep-seated cultural identities and anxieties which both feed from and structure national imaginaries Dunn, A further example is that of fashion, and particularly that of high fashion.
As with religion, certain key cities have historically dominated this movement, as Gilbert This worked through the actual export of clothes and designs, but also through the symbolic projection of these cities as avatars of fashionable modernity. In a similar way, London emerged as a major world centre for modern art in the s.
For While , the business of buying and selling Western high art is dominated by New York, Paris and London, as well as a number of second order international 41 1 Location and Movement nodes such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, Zurich, Milan and Dusseldorf … the key international cities have become the home of the most influential interna tional dealers, auction houses, critics and galleries, and act as magnets for aspiring artists and dealers, who in turn further enrich the creative milieu of art schools, galleries and cultural quarters.
It should be said that each of these fora for cultural exchange are partially constituted by the material infrastructures that sustain them. Whether this be the human or animal carriers of disease, the rocky pilgrim routes of the Middle Ages or the charter flights that transport adherents to Mecca or Rome, the globalisation of architects and their designs McNeill, a , or the networks of art auctions and fashion magazines that sustain and transmit cultural artefacts, the material nature of this connectivity is very important see materiality.
Writers such as Robinson , Gandy a , and Simone have argued that urban theory-building has ignored the specific conditions of African cities, or — worse still — have even exoticised their urban experience.
For Robinson, the problem lies in the division between economic and urban geography as disciplines that focus on advanced capitalist economies, and development geography as focusing on less developed countries: In the same way, then, that global and world city approaches ascribe the characteristics of only parts of cities to the whole city through the process of categorization, mega city and developmentalist approaches extend to the entire city the imagination of those parts which are lacking in all sorts of facilities and services.
As Shatkin has argued, seeing certain cities and nation-states as being irrelevant to global cities research due Global Cities to very low levels of foreign direct investment is to ignore the increasing integration of cities such as Phnom Penh or Nairobi within the world economy. Theorising global cities is thus a major issue within contemporary social sciences. The quantitative analysis of major data-sets which show degrees of inter-connection and the magnitude of inter-city flows of anything from people to food have made a major contribution to our understanding of the globalised urban economy.
However, the broader remit that an urban cultural perspective brings serves to deconstruct the categories used to make knowledge claims, challenge the overemphasis on certain cities as being foundational in world city analysis and to bring non-economistic indicators into the theoretical armature of urban geographers. Between Modernity and Development provides a much-needed bridge between the global cities literature and theoretical perspectives drawn from development geography.
DMcN 43 1 Location and Movement 1. It is an attempt to think through the ways in which cities are evermore defined by all sorts of connections to faraway places. This fact of lives lived in two places at once is significant for at least two reasons. Second, the spatially distributed agency implicit in such geographically stretched networks of relationship raises questions about the nature and role of cities as nodes of concentrated interaction.
If a great deal of the interaction taking place within cities is in fact organised through relationships from elsewhere, what does this do to established notions of cities as privileged central places?
Does it mean that the nodality of cities no longer matters? Or that it matters less than it has in the past? And if it matters less, what does this do to established ways of understanding cities?
Does it mean that they are redundant? Or just that they need a little rethinking? The concept of transnational urbanism is an attempt to place these issues of spatial distanciation at the centre of how cities should be understood.
Transnationalism and the transnational Although used as early as by the American essayist Randolph Bourne, the term transnationalism as currently understood has its Transnational Urbanism origins in work in international relations and economics in the s Bourne, ; Keohane and Nye, Scholars in these fields used the term transnational to refer to institutions and forms of relationship that spanned national borders and in some way transcended the national.
It was not until the s, however, that the term transnational — and the related noun transnationalism — gained genuinely widespread currency. A range of scholars working in anthropology Sutton, ; Glick Schiller et al. As Smith In contrast, transna tionalist discourse insists on the continuing significance of borders, state polities, and national identities even as these are often transgressed by transnational communication circuits and social practices.
This pattern of transnational migration is a phenomenon that has historical precedents. Nonetheless, students of contemporary transnational migration argue that contemporary forms of migration are in important ways qualitatively different from earlier patterns.
This is for three reasons. Technologies like cable and satellite television, long distance telephony, jet aircraft — to say nothing of the internet — allow a quality 45 1 Location and Movement and immediacy of interaction that simply was not possible with earlier technologies.
Second, the intensity and duration of the level of connection is much greater than previously. It is not just that long distance communication and transportation has gotten faster. This allows even the poorest and most socially disadvantaged to be involved in circuits of transnational exchange that previously would have only been the preserve of elites. Third, contemporary migration is taking place at a time when many migrants not only come from countries with a well developed national identity but also with a well defined desire to maintain that sense of identification.
Thus, many migrants despite migrating are prepared to actively defend their own national identity in the face of efforts by receiving country governments to assimilate them into the host culture Glick Shiller et al. Transnational cities, transnational social morphologies 46 What does all this mean for how contemporary cities should be understood?
Well, according to Smith and other scholars of transnationalism the emergence of complex networks of transmigration matters for how cities should be understood for at least three reasons: It matters because the presence of transmigrants profoundly shapes the dynamics of much contemporary urban life. The key dimensions of this Transnational Urbanism transnational urbanism can be summarised under three general headings: Transnational social fields Perhaps the most striking dimension of the phenomenon on transmigration is the degree to which it has become possible for people to construct remarkably dense and complex kin and friendship networks across what for an outsider appear impossibly large distances.
Thus, Glick Shiller et al. Two daughters, who could not find employment in St. Vincent … migrated to the U.