Sophie Oldfield (Editor of The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South)
The debate about the theories and concepts deployed to demarcate this field of study constitutes the theme of the first section. This issue is also taken up by Vainer, through the lens of knowledge dissemination as a form of coloniality.
Meanwhile, Robinson explores the practicalities of this undertaking, proposing comparative urban studies as a means of making the field global in its range and underpinnings. As Sheppard argues in his chapter, postcolonial urbanisation is one stage in a much longer history in which Europe was not always dominant.
The chapters that follow present a diverse range of empirical realities of urban economies in the south, exploring rapid urbanisation in China Chen ; the potential of African urban policy Buckley and Kallergis ; infrastructure in African cities Pieterse and Hyman ; understandings of urban agglomeration Bryceson ; a global view of the urban informal economy Chen and Skinner ; and the digital transformation in African cities Benner.
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While offering a more grounded interpretation of the issues at stake, the interconnections between these chapters are less apparent than in the first section. However, this may be inevitable, given the empirical richness therein. Cities are explored as constituted by social and cultural practices, alongside economic and political ones. For example, Yeoh and Ramdas write convincingly of the feminization of migration in Asia, taking a multi-scalar view of gender issues in the context of urbanization.
Environment and Urbanization, 26 1 : Watson, V : The ethics of planners and their professional bodies: response to Flyvbjerg, Cities, 32, — Battersby, J and V Watson : Improving urban food security in African cities: Critically assessing the role of informal retailers. Watson, V and G Siame : Alternative participatory planning practices in the global south: learning from co-production processes in informal communities.
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Palgrave Macmillan. Part IV Politics transformation and the southern city.
Part V Negotiating society and identity in urban spaces of the south. Part VII Big stories of urban change.