1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics

ISBN 9781138890329
Published April 22, 2018 by Routledge
624 Pages 30 B/W Illustrations

USD $245.00

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Book Description

The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics provides a comprehensive statement and reference point for urban politics. The scope of this handbook’s coverage and contributions engages with and reflects upon the most important, innovative and recent critical developments to the interdisciplinary field of urban politics, drawing upon a range of examples from within and across the Global North and Global South.

This handbook is organized into nine interrelated sections, with an introductory chapter setting out the rationale, aims and structure of the Handbook, and short introductory commentaries at the beginning of each part. It questions the eliding of ‘urban politics’ into the ‘politics of the city’, reconsidering the usefulness of the distinction between ‘old’ and ‘new’ urban politics, considering issues of ‘class’, ‘gender’, ‘race’ and the ways in which they intersect, appear and reappear in matters of urban politics, how best to theorize the roles of capital, the state and other actors, such as social movements, in the production of the city and, finally, issues of doing urban political research. The various chapters explore the issues of urban politics of economic development, environment and nature in the city, governance and planning, the politics of labour as well as living spaces. The concluding sections of the Handbook examine the politics over alternative visions of cities of the future and provide concluding discussions and reflections, particularly on the futures for urban politics in an increasingly ‘global’ and multidisciplinary context.

With over forty-five contributions from leading international scholars in the field, this handbook provides critical reviews and appraisals of current conceptual and theoretical approaches and future developments in urban politics. It is a key reference to all researchers and policy-makers with an interest in urban politics.

Table of Contents


Lists of figures

List of tables

List of boxes

List of contributors



1. Introduction Andrew E G Jonas, Byron Miller, Kevin Ward and David Wilson

Part 1: Approaching the space(s) of urban politics

Andrew E G Jonas and Byron Miller

2. Here, there and everywhere: rethinking the urban of urban politics

Allan Cochrane

3. Place-based or place-positioned? Framing and making the spaces of urban politics

Deborah G Martin

4. Ambivalence of the urban commons

Theresa Enright and Ugo Rossi

5. The smart state as utopian urban politics

Yonn Dierwechter

Part 2: Spaces of economic development

David Wilson and Andrew E G Jonas

6. Pro-Growth urban politics and the inner workings of public private partnerships
Christopher Mele and Matthew H. McLeskey

7. The urban politics of strategic coupling in global production networks

Rachel Bok and Neil M. Coe

8. The sky is not the limit: Negotiating height and density in Toronto’s condominium boom

Ute Lehrer and Peter Pantalone

9. Digital technologies and the reconfiguration of urban space

Barney Warf

Part 3: Spaces of the environment and nature

Byron Miller and Andrew E G Jonas

10. Climate science and the city: consensus, calculation, and security in Seattle, Washington

Jennifer L. Rice

11. Democratising the production of urban environments: working in, against and beyond the state, from Durban to Berlin

James Angel and Alex Loftus

12. Politics of urban gardening

Marit Rosol

13. Just green spaces of urban politics: A pragmatist approach

Ryan Holifield

14. From sustainability to resilience: the hidden costs of recent socioenvironmental change in cities of the Global North

David Sauri

15. Transforming Rainey Street: The decoupling of equity from environment in Austin’s smart growth agenda

Eliot Tretter and Elizabeth J. Mueller

Part 4: Spaces of governing and planning

David Wilson and Byron Miller

16. Cities on a grand scale: Instant urbanism at the start of the twenty-first century

Martin J. Murray

17. Urbanization, planning, and the possibility of being post-growth

Jason Hackworth

18. Troubled buildings, distressed markets: The urban governance of the U.S. foreclosure crisis

Philip Ashton

19. Housing the Banlieu in global times: French public housing and spaces between neo-liberalization and hybridization

David Giband

Part 5: Spaces of labour

Kevin Ward and Andrew E G Jonas

20. Roll-against neoliberalism and labour organising in the post 2008 crisis

Luis LM Aguiar and Yanick Noiseux

21. Urbanisation as a bordering process: non-citizen labour and precarious construction work in the Greater Toronto Area

Michelle Buckley and Emily Reid-Muson

22. Organising the ruins: the thin institutional geography of labour in the U.S. Midwest

Marc Doussard

23. Mobilities and moralities of domestic work in Indonesian cities

David Jordhus-Lier and Debbie Prabawati

24. Street work as a key site of urban politics

Ilda Lindell

25. Urban informality and the new politics of precarity: Day labourer activism in the US

Nik Theodore

Part 6: Spaces of living

David Wilson and Kevin Ward

26. The political spaces of urban poverty management

Joshua Evans and Geoff DeVerteuil

27. Urban community gardens as new spaces of living

Rina Ghose and Margaret Pettygrove

28. Envisioning liveability and do-it-together urban development

Helen Jarvis

29. Infrastructural citizenship: spaces of living in Cape Town, South Africa

Charlotte Lemanski

30. The politics of urban agriculture: sustainability, governance, and contestation

Nathan McClintock, Christiana Miewald and Eugene McCann

31. Retroactive utopia: class and the urbanization of self-management in Poland

Kacper Poblocki

Part 7: Spaces of circulation

Andrew E G Jonas and Kevin Ward

32. Circulating risks: coastal cities and the spectre of climate change risk

Kevin Fox Gotham and Clare Cannon

33. The logics and politics of circulation: exploring the urban and non-urban spaces of Amazon.com

Markus Hesse

34. Circulating experiments: urban living labs and the politics of sustainability

James Evans, Harriet Bulkeley, Yuliya Voytenko, Kes McCormick and Steven Curtis

35. Assembling and re-assembling Asian carp: the Chicago Area Waterways System as a space of urban politics,

Julie Cidell

36. Google buses and Uber cars: the politics of tech mobility and the future of urban liveability

Jason Henderson

37. Making multi-racial counter-publics: toward egalitarian spaces in urban politics

Helga Leitner and Samuel Nowak

Part 8: Spaces of identity

Byron Miller and David Wilson

38. A city of migrants: migration and urban identity politics

Virginie Mamadouh

39. Class, territory and politics in the American city

Kevin Cox

40. Urban middle-class shifting sensibilities in neoliberal Buenos Aires

Carolina Sternberg

41. Compassionate capitalism: tax breaks, tech companies and the transformation of San Francisco

Lauren Alfrey and France Winddance Twine

42. Gendering urban protest: politics, bodies and space

Fran Tonkiss

43. Queering urban politics and ecologies

Will McKeithen, Larry Knopp and Michael Brown

Part 9: Spaces of utopia and dystopia

Andrew E G Jonas and David Wilson

44. Dystopian dynamics at work: the creative validation of urban space

Ulf Strohmayer

45. Deconstructing modern utopias: sustainable urbanism, participation, and profit in the ‘European City’

Samuel Mössner and Rob Krueger

46. Dystopian spaces and Roma imaginaries: the case of young Roma in Slovenia and Romania

Stuart C. Aitken and Jasmine Arpagian

47. Mobile futures: urban revitalisation and the aesthetics of transportation

Theresa Enright

48. Reimagining the urban as a dystopic resilient space: scalar materialities in climate knowledge, planning and politics

Andrew Kythreotis


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Kevin Ward is Professor of Human Geography in the School of Environment, Education and Development and Director of the Manchester Urban Institute (www.mui.manchester.ac.uk) at the University of Manchester, UK.

Andrew E. G. Jonas is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Hull, UK.

Byron Miller is Professor and the Coordinator of the Urban Studies Interdisciplinary Program, University of Calgary, Canada. 

David Wilson is Professor of Geography, Urban Planning, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.


"The Routledge Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics is a state-of-the-art guide to the diverse and dynamic worlds of urban politics—from environmental activism to local labor organizing, from growth elites to community gardeners, from austerity to utopia. Featuring new voices in urban studies alongside established scholars, this fine collection goes beyond a conventional tour d’horizon to open up new horizons for the field." - Jamie Peck, University of British Columbia, Canada

"The editors of the Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics have done a magnificent job: A stellar cast of authors, a global perspective, relevant thematic choices, topical case studies, and animated writing make this Handbook an indispensible companion to students of local and urban politics everywhere." - Roger Keil, York Chair in Global Sub/Urban Studies, York University, Canada 

"This Handbook’s carefully crafted collection of essays reviews and appraises the panoply of conceptual and theoretical approaches to urban politics as an inter-disciplinary field, and it provides a vivid portrayal of how ‘the (urban) political’ itself is evolving. It will be a key reference point for students and researchers seeking to comprehend continuity and change in the (urban) political, as it is shaped across places, spaces and scales, and through shifting constellations of actors, interests, issues, strategies and practices." - Professor Pauline McGuirk, Head of Research, School of Geography and Sustainable Communities, The University of Wollongong, Australia