2013 : Researching the contemporary city: Identity [autor]; environment and social inclusion in developing urban areas
The city is perhaps the most complex of all human constructs. In the 21st century when cities are bigger than ever, and the majority of the world’s population now live in urban areas, the need for research into this complexity to address the large scale challenges of urban life has never been greater. This collection of research studies from different parts of the world, brings together case studies, underpinned by theory, to contribute to the urgent search to make our cities more just, more livable, more accessible, more participatory and more democratic: in short, more humane places to live and work. These crosscutting themes of social inclusion, spatial integration and poverty alleviation are the ever present motifs and motivations throughout this volume. The eleven chapters are grouped into four interrelated sections: the creation and representation of the urban; the production and transformation of the informal; the construction and appropriation of public spaces; and finally, the transformation, use and meaning of home. Collectively the essays engage with the city at a range of scales, but underpinning all of them is a concern for the everyday realities of ordinary people’s lives. These detailed and finegrain analyses of complex processes are a modest contribution towards the creation of cities which are not simply more economically viable and environmentally sustainable, but also embody the ideals of social justice.