Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience

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9781405155540: Introduction to Cities: How Place and Space Shape Human Experience

A complete introduction to the history, evolution, and future of the modern city, this book covers a wide range of theory, including the significance of space and place, to provide a balanced account of why cities are an essential part of the global human experience.

  • Covers a wide range of theoretical approaches to the city, from the historical to the cutting edge
  • Emphasizes the important themes of space and place
  • Offers a balanced account of cities and offers extensive coverage including urban inequality, environment and sustainability, and methods for studying the city
  • Takes a global approach, with examples from Berlin and Chicago to Shanghai and Mumbai
  • Includes a range of pedagogical features such as a substantial glossary of key terms, critical thinking questions, suggestions for further reading and a range of innovative textboxes which follow the themes of Exploring Further, Studying the City and Making the City Better
  • Extensively illustrated with maps, charts, tables, and over 80 photographs
  • Accompanied by a comprehensive student companion site featuring a list of relevant journals, a guide to useful web resources, and an annotated documentary film guide, alongside a useful instructor companion site with further examples, case studies, and discussion and essay questions; instructors will find a link to the instructor website on the student website at www.wiley.com/go/cities

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Review:

Cities and People: How Cities Shape Lives

Human beings and cities are inextricably intertwined. Human beings make cities, and they live and work in them. Although the pace at which cities grow and change may sometimes be so slow as to avoid detection, and while the scales of urban places may confound any sense of human efficacy, we must bear in mind that these are objects of our own making. Not only do human beings shape the physical structures of cities but they also decide what those structures will mean and, as a result, suggest how other human beings will use them. We offer these insights to stir your curiosities, and as a source of empowerment. Whatever is built by human hands is, by definition, within our power to change. Indeed, throughout the book we offer examples of individuals and groups who are working to change cities in ways that in turn improve the lives of residents.

This brings us to perhaps the most important point of the book: places, whether cities, neighborhoods, or even smaller units therein, have the power to shape human lives. The structures of inequalities found within and across societies are quite literally made concrete in cities. Add to these a host of place-specific threats stemming from political and environmental instability, and we can trace many of the factors that diminish individuals’ lives to the places where they live. Places are not the only culprit here – in many instances, places are the sites where problems stemming from larger structures manifest themselves – but understanding places allows us to understand the ways in which these forces intersect with specific populations and resources.

We hope that this excerpt leaves you with a sense of why cities are compelling topics of study. Some of you likely needed little convincing: you may have had questions about why cities take the forms they do, how immigrants create communities in a new place, or why some neighborhoods are luxurious and opulent while others are sites of danger and despair. We encourage those of you who have come to this field accidentally or even reluctantly to consider cities as sites where you can readily see social processes at work, whether the construction of meanings and memories as they become attached to places or the unequal distribution of economic opportunities. Whatever path you have taken in becoming a student of cities, we hope that this book, and the concepts of space and place at its core, will help you to recognize and understand the ways that humans experience an urban world.

Redevelopment in the older areas of Shanghai has displaced an estimated one million households. This woman was one of the last remaining residents in her neighborhood, having refused to relocate. Source: © LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen GmbH/Alamy. Murals in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood announce – and enhance – the area’s Mexican heritage. Source: Photo © Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis.

From the Back Cover:

Introduction to Cities seeks to explain why cities are such a vital part of the human experience and how they shape our lives.

Written in an engaging and jargon-free style, this book approaches the study of cities through two main concepts: that cities are places, where people live, form communities, and establish their own identities, and that they are spaces, such as residential areas or the suburbs, that offer a way to configure and shape the material and natural environment.

Introduction to Cities covers theory from the historical to the cutting edge, and offers a balanced account of life in cities, highlighting both positive and negative themes. It takes a global approach, with examples ranging from Berlin and Chicago to Shanghai and Mumbai. Students will appreciate the inclusion of additional features such as a glossary of key terms, critical thinking questions, and suggestions for further reading. In addition, the book is extensively illustrated with maps, charts, tables, and over 80 photographs.

Taking in topics such as social inequalities, race, globalization, and sustainability, this book provides a complete introduction to the history, evolution, and future of the modern city.

It is also accompanied by a comprehensive website (www.wiley.com/go/cities), which features further examples and case studies, discussion and essay questions, chapter outlines, and links to useful online resources and films and documentaries.

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Book Description Wiley-Blackwell. Book Condition: New. 2012. 1st Edition. Paperback. This text, illustrated with over 80 photographs, follows the basic premise that cities and metropolitan centers must be seen as both places and spaces that are vital to the making of the human experience. Place and space are defined in clear terms, and then they are elaborated upon in a broad but accessible theoretical manner. Num Pages: 408 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: JFSG; JH; RG. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational. Dimension: 245 x 191 x 18. Weight in Grams: 890. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781405155540

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