City Futures: Confronting the Crisis of Urban Development

Front Cover
Zed Books, Jun 15, 2008 - Political Science - 206 pages
Cities are the future. In the past two decades, a global urban revolution has taken place, mainly in the South. The 'mega-cities' of the developing world are home to over 10 million people each and even smaller cities are experiencing unprecedented population surges. The problems surrounding this influx of people - slums, poverty, unemployment and lack of governance - have been well-documented.

This book is a powerful indictment of the current consensus on how to deal with these challenges. Pieterse argues that the current 'shelter for all' and 'urban good governance' policies treat only the symptoms, not the causes of the problem. Instead, he claims, there is an urgent need to reinvigorate civil society in these cities, to encourage radical democracy, economic resilience, social resistance and environmental sustainability folded into the everyday concerns of marginalised people. Providing a dynamic picture of a cosmopolitan urban citizenship, this book is an essential guide to one of the new century's greatest challenges.

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Contents

deciphering city futures
1
Urbanization trends and implications
16
good governance
62
s Reconceptualizing the political in cities
84
Informal everyday urbanism
108
alternative urban development
130
Making a start towards alternative city futures
161
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Edgar Pieterse is Director of the African Centre for Cities and Professor in the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, both at the University of Cape Town. He is also a founding director of Isandla Institute; an urban policy think-tank where he continues advocacy oriented research work. His publications include: Voices of the Transition: The Politics, Poetics and Practices of Social Change in South Africa (2004), Democratising Local Government: The South African Experiment (2002) and Consolidating Developmental Local Government: Lessons from the South Africa Experience (2007).

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