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.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 222 x 143 x 143 mm
'This is an important and hopeful work that does not shy away from the inequalities and power asymmetries that confront cities of the South, but still manages to show that the politics of the 'wretched', if sustained and integrated into a wider institutional arena, can bring about change for the good of the many. It rejects the depressing readings of such urbanism that have come to dominate without resorting to a naive or false utopianism. Edgar Pieterse has written a book that is a must for urban thinkers and practitioners interested in the virtues of the everyday'
Ash Amin, Durham University
'Pieterse is adept at steering us through disparate ways of being in the city - multiple times, different speeds and relays, inclusions and exclusions. Much is said about the need to make cities more effective and more just but there is seldom a language for doing this. Pieterse has made an enormous contribution to elaborating such a needed language, and for this has done a great service to advance a creative process of urban change.'
AbdouMaliq Simone, Goldsmiths, University of London
'A trenchant deconstruction of the main thinking underlying urban development in the Global South. Pieterse illuminates an alternative urban political agenda and provides a roadmap on how to get there. This should be required reading for urbanists and activists alike.'
Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development