Lecture 1: Part 2: Comparative Urbanism & Social Stability (McFarlane…
Lecture 1: Part 2: Comparative Urbanism & Social Stability
Cities understood comparatively in theory and policy
Resurgence of comparative urbanism in response to the globalisation of urban policy, economies, cultures etc. Also to understand urbanism beyond the perspectives of north and south development.
Widens the range of urbanisms that constitute the urban theory challenging our inherited conceptions beyond simply Western Europe / North American perspectives of development.
compares Sao Paulo and Cape Town and their production of informal settlements.
62% of sub-Saharan Africa and 43% of south-central Asia urban population live in slums.
argues that comparative thinking must take into account three overlaping areas of theory culture, learning and ethico-politics
heeds caution when learning. Calling it "the temptation of mimicry" - there are challenges in learning from comparative urbanism and being able to translate such examples to make it applicable to another example. Each urban city is different and thus copying from learning has potential to be problematic.
Theory culture should prompt reflection not just on contrasting spaces or processes, but on ontological and epistemological framings to create pluralised understandings through comparison.
Robinson (2002: 550)
raises ethical and political considerations. "scholars in privileged western environments will need to find responsible and ethical ways to engage with, learn from and promote ideas of intellectuals in less privileged places"
Integrate equity into development agenda, it is an issue of social justice.
Invest in urban basic services.
Urban poverty a multidimensional problem.