The Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning gladly welcomes Nick Phelps, University of Melbourne, who will open the Lecture Series on Suburban Transitions
Thursday 4th of Oct. 14h30-15h30, MSH, Black Box
The question of whose city was the title of Ray Pahl's celebrated volume. Part of the zeitgeist, Pahl's Whose City?, Gans's People and Plans and Lefebvre’s The Urban Revolution ushered in a significant sophistication of urban theory. Yet, ironically, as a result, the question of which city is one we less often ask ourselves these days. The two questions - of whose city and which city - are, of course, hardly separate. Yet rarely, it seems, is the city treated as anything other than a single undifferentiated unit in contemporary analysis. Adopting a suburban-centred perspective, this paper suggests we ought to pay more attention to the spatially differentiated character of the urban if we are to properly understand the triumphs and tragedies of 'the city' and if we are to advance urban theory under conditions of planetary urbanisation. This includes returning to how we as academics generate representations of the urban however imperfect and sometimes problematic these may be.