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In this book, Michael Smith offers a comparative and interdisciplinary examination of ancient settlements and cities. Early cities varied considerably in their political and economic organization and dynamics. Smith here introduces a coherent approach to urbanism that is transdisciplinary in scope, scientific in epistemology, and anchored in the urban literature of the social sciences. His new insight is 'energized crowding,' a concept that captures the consequences of social interactions within the built environment resulting from increases in population size and density within settlements. Smith explores the implications of features such as empires, states, markets, households, and neighborhoods for urban life and society through case studies from around the world. Direct influences on urban life – as mediated by energized crowding-are organized into institutional (top-down forces) and generative (bottom-up processes). Smith's volume analyzes their similarities and differences with contemporary cities, and highlights the relevance of ancient cities for understanding urbanism and its challenges today.
The dominance of capital cities (urban primacy) is an enduring characteristic of Australian states. There has been limited empirical research examining the drivers of primacy in states despite some being extreme examples of the phenomenon, both in magnitude and scale. In light of institutional theories of settlement patterns, we developed a profile of Australian urbanization using a century of time-series data, descriptive statistics, and an empirical model of city populations. In Australian states high measures of primacy have endured with little evidence of disruption despite the enormous size of these states, their wealth, and population growth – factors associated with declining and low primacy. Statistically, state capital city status has a significant effect on city population size variation, with results suggesting primacy in states is in part a product of Australian federalism. This contrasts with views that suggest Australia’s scarcity of large non-capital cities is due to isolation, low population, and environmental determinism. The findings in this paper have major implications relative to national and/or state strategies that aim to decentralize population away from the primate cities.
This chapter reviews the literature on the origins of cities and states. We argue that purely agricultural societies are unlikely to have cities because population dispersal reduces travel costs for farmers and herders. But incentives for agglomeration could arise from the productivity of urban manufacturing, the need for collective defense, or cultural factors. We supplement our study of Mesopotamia with archaeological data on state formation in Egypt, the Indus Valley, China, Mesoamerica, and the Andes. All of these cases had highly productive food technologies, pre-existing stratification, and close links with urbanization. Based on our models in Chapters 6, 8, and 10, we suggest three pathways to a state. In the “property rights hypothesis,” improving food technology and long-run population growth lead to the creation of elite property rights over the best sites, a shrinking commons, and falling commoner wages. This eventually triggers urban manufacturing and city-state formation. In the “elite warfare hypothesis,” warfare among elites over land rents causes defensive agglomeration in cities and territorial expansion by successful elites. In the “environmental shift hypothesis,” commoner populations migrate toward refuge sites (often river valleys) controlled by local elites, again leading to falling commoner wages, urbanization, and state formation.
From Tanganyika’s independence in 1961 to the collapse of the Portuguese empire in 1974, Dar es Salaam was an epicentre of revolution in Africa. The representatives of anticolonial liberation movements set up offices in the city, attracting the interest of the Cold War powers, who sought to expand their influence in the Third World. Meanwhile, the Tanzanian government sought to translate independence into meaningful decolonisation through an ambitious project to build a socialist state. This chapter explains how the lens of the city reveals the connections between the dynamics of the Cold War, decolonisation, and socialist state-making in Tanzania. It locates this approach among new approaches to the history of the Cold War, decolonisation, and global cities. Scattered across continents, the postcolonial archive offers the potential for exploring the revolutionary dynamics which intersected in Dar es Salaam.
Extensive urbanization is one of the most significant demographic and geopolitical phenomena of our time. Yet, with few exceptions, constitutional theory has failed to turn its attention to this crucial trend. In particular, the burgeoning constitutional literature aimed at addressing phenomena such as democratic backsliding, constitutional retrogression, and populist threats to judicial independence and the rule of law has failed to respond to the significance of place as an emerging cleavage in contemporary politics. An alarming disconnect has emerged between constitutionalism's overwhelmingly statist (or Westphalian) outlook and the reality of geographically localized concentration of worldviews, policy preferences, and political identities. In this essay, I identify urban agglomeration and the accompanying resurgence of the urban-rural divide as posing a critical challenge to liberal constitutional democracy, and argue that the time is ripe to pay closer attention to the spatial dimension of constitutional governance and its impact on the rise of anti-establishment political resentment. To that end, in the essay's final part I identify several areas of constitutional law and theory that appear to hold some intellectual promise in thinking creatively about mitigating the urban-rural divide, and about the mounting urban challenge more generally.
This volume explores how the circulation of goods, people, and ideas permeated every aspect of the continent’s cultural production at the turn of the century. We are interested not only in understanding how literature and the arts confronted the unprecedented penetration of global capital in Latin America, but also in exploring the ways in which rapidly transforming technological and labor conditions contributed to forging new intellectual networks, creating original discourses, exploring innovative forms of knowledge, and reimagining the material and immaterial worlds. This volume shows the new directions in turn-of-the-century scholarship that developed over the last two decades by investigating how the experience of capitalism produced an array of works that deal with primitive accumulation, transnational crossings, and an emerging technological and material reality in diverse geographies and a variety of cultural forms. The various contributions provide a novel understanding of the period as they discuss the ways in which particular commodities, intellectual networks, popular uprisings, materialities, and nonmetropolitan locations redefined cultural production at a time when the place of Latin America in global affairs was significantly transformed.
An intense debate has arisen among scholars concerning the financial sustainability of the grain funds that Greek and Roman cities used to cope with the instabilities of the grain market. In this paper, we apply a Monte Carlo simulation to model their financial dynamics. Due to the uncertainties pertaining to the scope of such funds (targeting urban dwellers only or including rural residents), our model takes into account two scenarios: ‘optimistic’ (urban only) and ‘pessimistic’ (both urban and rural). The analysis reaches several important findings: (1) For both scenarios, we witness a considerable rate of funds collapsing in their first 10 years of operation. After 10 years, however, the probability of failure displays very little change, as if there was a threshold over which the funds had accumulated enough capital to withstand shortages. (2) As expected, the survival rates are significantly higher for the optimistic scenario. (3) The withdrawals seem to have the most dramatic impact on the dynamic of the fund. Overall, while the grain funds do not appear to be sustainable in the urban-rural scenario, they show clear signs of sustainability in the urban-only scenario. The results invite reconsideration of the widespread view that grain funds were an inefficient and precarious response to food crisis.
This chapter focuses on struggles to dwell in the city that characterised a strand of both racist practice and responses to it. From attempts to purchase collectively housing to the rarely told stories of organised squatting and the emergence of the black housing movement, the forces of racist exclusion produced a Newtonian response; collective endeavours to claim the right to find somewhere to live in the cities of post-war Britain. These social movements racialised both the claim to dwell in the city and the challenges to patterns of discrimination. But the struggles which emerged from the grassroots and grew over the 1970s and 1980s also in some ways ran their course over time for reasons that are also considered in this chapter.
This chapter compares the ways that two similarly sized cities, Chicago and Amsterdam, have chosen to govern their streets. Chicago sold a seventy-five-year concession to manage street parking to a consortium of private investors, whereas Amsterdam’s government maintains the ability to directly govern its streets. In turn, Chicago is an illustration of how privatization of a common good according to money-lending logics, far from allowing for flexibility and efficient governance, completely prevents a city from changing with the times. Chicago has lost control over its own streets and can no longer decide what their best use is without paying an extortionate price. Any governing of a shared communal space that has a broader concern than generating profit for a private corporation is here effectively undermined by allowing marketized parking. For the purposes of this book, the Chicago/Amsterdam comparison illustrates the limitations of using privatized business actors to efficiently govern shared city space. It also serves as a counterexample to the neoliberal dogma that government should abstain from planning, because their attempts at doing so cannot outperform the market.
The economy of many parts of Europe changed significantly during the period from 1450 to 1600. The vast majority of Europeans continued to live in villages and make their living by agriculture, but new, larger-scale processes of trade and production shaped both the cities and the countryside, altering the landscape and leading to environmental problems. Population growth and the worsening climate of the Little Ice Age contributed to food shortages, rising prices of basic commodities, and a growing polarization of wealth. In western Europe landless people often migrated in search of employment, while in eastern Europe noble landowners reintroduced serfdom, tying peasants to the land. Rural areas in both western and eastern Europe became more specialized in what they produced, and in cities wealth increasingly came from trade. Investment in equipment and machinery to process certain types of products, such as metals and cloth, increased significantly, with coal replacing increasingly scarce wood in some areas as a source of heat and power. Successful capitalist merchant-entrepreneurs made vast fortunes in banking and moneylending, while the poor supported themselves any way they could.
This chapter presents a snapshot of all of Europe in 1450, when the climate was colder and wetter than it had been several centuries earlier, which led to poor harvests and recurring famine. Most people lived in small villages in households organized around a marital couple, and never traveled very far. Cities were growing in many parts of Europe, however, with some urban dwellers becoming wealthy and powerful, though the nobility remained the dominant group. In some areas nation-states were slowly coalescing, and everywhere warfare was common, with gunpowder weapons becoming increasingly important. The invention of the printing press with movable metal type spurred the expansion of literacy in vernacular languages, though advanced education was in Latin, and limited to men. The Christian Church in central and western Europe was a wealthy, hierarchical, bureaucratic institution headed by the pope. Most people living in Europe were Christian, and engaged in a variety of religious rituals throughout the year and across their lifespans, as did Jews and Muslims. Production of most commodities was organized through guilds, but cloth-making and mining were increasingly organized along capitalist lines, with an investor providing money for tools, and workers paid for their labor.
This chapter presents an array of institutions at many levels: international, regional, and national and municipal levels. The survey of mechanisms identifies the key features of each system, noting the relative strengths and weaknesses of each. Landmark decisions illustrate facets of the systems. The overview concludes with two famous success stories of enforcement in civil litigation, Filartiga v. Pena-Irala (US) and In Re Pinochet (UK).
Since 2017, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has incorporated human rights risk assessments into its bidding requirements for major events, beginning with the competition to host the 2026 FIFA Men’s World Cup.1 This process began at a time of increased scrutiny on the impact of major events and greater focus on the applicability of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) to sport. In 2014, the Centre for Sport and Human Rights’ founding Chair Mary Robinson, together with John Ruggie (author of the UNGPs), wrote to FIFA in their respective capacities as Patron and Chair of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) to stress the need for ‘sustained due diligence […] with respect to decisions about host nations and how major sporting events are planned and implemented’.2 Following recommendations set forth in the letter, expanded upon in Ruggie’s 2016 report ‘For the Game, For the World’, FIFA introduced robust bidding requirements that any country or region wishing to bid to host a World Cup will have to conduct a human rights risk assessment and outline how they intend to mitigate each of the risks identified.3 These requirements are designed to align the World Cup bidding process with the UNGPs.
Climate adaptation planning in pursuit of resilient and sustainable societies has become a focal point in urban policy. Climate adaptation planning is generally regarded as separate from traditional urban planning practices. Globally and in Europe, however, cities are increasingly integrating climate adaptation planning into their traditional urban planning instruments and processes. Recent research indicates that the scope of such integration is at varying stages. The City of Rotterdam (Netherlands) and the City of Antwerp (Belgium) have been identified as two European cities that face similar climate impacts and risks given their proximity to a large river delta. Both cities aim to integrate climate adaptation into their respective urban planning policies, but the scope of their integration differs. This paper critically analyses the urban planning policies of these two cities to distil key lessons learnt that cities with similar climate impacts and approaches to urban planning may potentially face in integrating climate adaptation planning into urban planning policies. The paper finds that identifying and evaluating the synergies, co-benefits or trade-offs of adaptation measures is a key challenge to integrating climate adaptation into urban planning policy. It is a potential stumbling block for long-term sustainable development and climate resilience.
This article examines the key features of the UK’s spatial productivity relationships and discusses some of the key questions currently being articulated or debated as they relate to potential devolution-related discussions. The paper demonstrates that the local productivity challenges facing UK regions are nationwide in nature rather than local, and systemic rather than specific. In particular, the scale-productivity relationships across cities and regions which are evident in almost all other OECD countries are largely absent in the UK. Instead, previous prosperity is the dominant marker of current local prosperity, suggesting that cumulative causation processes define the UK regional and urban economic landscape rather than scale relations. This article explains these features in a manner which is accessible to a wide audience, in order to provide greater clarity regarding the fundamental economic problems to be addressed and also the underlying objectives which the Levelling Up agenda needs to achieve.
Kristin Stapleton analyzes how concepts and practices associated with the 'modern city' were received, transformed, and contested in Asia over the past 150 years. In the early twentieth century, activists took advantage of the new significance of the city to pursue a wide variety of goals. Thus, the concept of the modern city played an important role in Asia, despite much critical commentary on the ideals associated with it. By the 1940s, the city yielded its political centrality to the nation. Still, modern cities remained an important marker of national achievement during the Cold War. In recent decades, cities have continued to play a central role in economic and cultural affairs in Asia, but the concept of the modern city has evolved. Asian ideas about urban governance and visions of future cities are significantly shaping that evolution.
Traditional analysis of China's policy experimentation has focused on the role of central–local relations and rotating leaders in shaping the local agenda-setting process. Less is known about the role of less mobile mid-level local bureaucrats who serve as bridges in the implementation process. This paper examines why some cities have performed better than others at implementing and maintaining low-carbon policy experiments. Drawing on a comparison of four case cities and over 100 expert interviews, I argue that the availability of bureaucratic entrepreneurs and their resource mobilization capacity determine the level of local engagement in climate policy experimentation. This study shows that the institutionalization of local policy experiments is not only driven by the central government or rotating top local leaders but also by bureaucratic entrepreneurs who help policy experiments survive periodic changes in the bureaucracy. The findings have important implications for the fulfilment of China's 2060 carbon neutrality pledge.
Urbanization as a process is rife with inequality, in Southeast Asia as anywhere else, but resistance and contestation persist on the ground. In this element, the author sets out to achieve three goals: 1) to examine the political nature of urban development; 2) to scrutinize the implications of power inequality in urban development discussions; and 3) to highlight topical and methodological contributions to urban studies from Southeast Asia. The key to a robust understanding is groundedness: knowledge about the everyday realities of urban life that are hard to see on the surface but dominate how the city functions, with particular attention to human agency and the political life of marginalized groups. Ignoring politics in research on urbanization essentially perpetuates the power inequities in urban development; this element thus focuses not just on Southeast Asian cities and urbanization per se, but also on critical perspectives on patterns and processes in their development.
Chapter 20 of Earthopolis: A Biography of Our Urban Planet continues the book’s exploration of the early Cold War years and the threshold of the Urban Planet’s Greatest Acceleration. It visits imperial capitals like London and Paris as certain types of spaces there became “proto-Third worlds” where young nationalist leaders formed their early ideas of liberation and development, then brought them back to colonial cities to launch struggles for national independence. Mohandas Gandhi’s Satyagraha or non-violent resistance transformed the practice of mass urban protest even as Gandhi fought global urban industrialism, rising sectarian violence, and the British Raj en route to Indian independence. Mao Zedong took a contrasting route to power that also started with villages, in this case as effective military bases to expel far better-armed imperial and bourgeois nationalist forces and then seize China’s great cities. Dozens of other independence movements adopted mixtures of these two strategies, which coalesced above all around development – starting with state or capitalist investment in advanced industrial facilities as well as the housing, educational, health, transport, and planning infrastructure aimed to erase the sheer inequalities of the imperial-era Urban Planet.