Circulation and the City : Essays on Urban Culture.

A host of public and private policies excluded Black people from access to the vast majority of urban space, contained Black people in small overcrowded areas with poor housing stock in the inner city, withheld credit from Black communities leading to the rapid deterioration of housing stock, aggressively policed these zones, and frequently demolished them for the project of “urban renewal.” It is in this context that inner cities saw disinvestment which gave rise to what Neil Smith (1996: 67) termed the “rent gap.” The gap between actual and potential ground rent in American cities should be understood as a violent effect of internal colonialism, which in turn opened these communities to the violence of evictions fueled by gentrification.

On Jan 1, 2010 Thomas Heise published: Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture (review)

Circulation and the City brings together 11 researchers working on questions of what it means to truly be in the city. These investigations into modes of “being urban” demonstrate how shifting political and economic forces are generative of wildly inventive and, occasionally, startlingly predictive ways of dwelling in these spaces. They are united by a continual foregrounding of this process of becoming. Indeed, while many analyses seize on the intractability of conceptual categories such as race, gender, class, ability, or the technological, this wonderful volume fruitfully focuses on how contemporary urban life is constituted by an environment of “intermediary phases” (p. 1). Circulation and the City provides a strong argument for the intermediary as a fruitful and theoretically productive space for research.


(Eds.), Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture

Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture by Alexandra Boutros (Editor), ..

This is the problematic that a wonderful new book, Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture, adopts to great effect. Alexandra Boutros and Will Straw have assembled a rich collection of essays that approaches the question of circulation as a crucial corollary to exuberant declarations of how spatial and conceptual developments have transformed our lives in the twenty-first century. As Boutros and Straw insist,


Alexandra Boutros (Author of Circulation and the City)

Circulation and the City is divided into three sections: The Mobile City, which focuses on how the contours of the urban environment are both constrained and stretched to the limits by language and technology; City Traffic, which brings together issues around deportation, religiosity, and mass transit; and City Circuits, which draws on issues of waste, mobility, and gentrification. All of these themes reflect in their own unique way the fundamental question “How can the contemporary city be defined and understood in the face of a fluidity and mobility that always links it to places, both literal and conceptual, outside of itself?” (p. 10). The space of the city becomes, on one hand, a site for administrative deliberation on how to infuse flows of people and information with efficiency and purpose, and, on the other, an opportunity for experimentation and inspired non-compliance.

The city in translation Urban cultures of ..

The great strength of Circulation and the City is its collective effort to abide in an urban space that embodies both these rigidifying and anarchic tendencies. Whereas many contemporary analyses express a valorization of one of these movements over another, these essays are productively mired in the complex and often contradictory interchanges of formal and processual forces. The space we inhabit is at once home and frustratingly inhospitable. We shape, and in turn are shaped by, our surroundings in an incessant feedback loop. As the editors declare, “The city never is but is always becoming through the circulation of images, things, languages, ideas, and perhaps, about all, people” (p. 20, emphasis in original).

but for some language relations have particularly ..

The University of Chicago: University of Chicago is the origin of Urban Sociology in the United States. The Urban Environment surrounding the University provided the perfect laboratory for scholars like Robert Park and Ernest Burgess to study the city.