The notion of the Just City emerges from philosophical discussions about what justice is combined with the intellectual history of utopias and ideal cities. The contributors to this volume, including Susan Fainstein, David Harvey and Margit Mayer articulate a conception of the Just City and then examine it from differing angles, ranging from Marxist thought to communicative theory. The arguments both develop the concept of a Just City and question it, as well as suggesting alternatives for future expansion. Explorations of the concept in practice include case studies primarily from U.S. cities, but also from Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
The authors find that a forthright call for justice in all aspects of city life, putting the question of what a Just City should be on the agenda of urban reform, can be a practical approach to solving questions of urban policy. This synthesis is provocative in a globalised world and the contributing authors bridge the gap between theoretical conceptualizations of urban justice and the reality of planning and building cities. The notion of the Just City is an empowering framework for contemporary urban actors to improve the quality of urban life and Searching for the Just City is a seminal read for practitioners, professionals, students, researchers and anyone interested in what urban futures should aim to achieve.
Peter Marcuse, a lawyer and urban planner, is Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at Columbia University in New York City. He is currently involved in, and has written on, the impact of September 11 on New York City, of Katrina on New Orleans, and on globalization, focusing on its impact on social justice.
James Connolly is a doctoral student in Urban Planning at Columbia University. His research focuses on the role of community organizations within complex organizational fields of urban policy-making.
Johannes Novy is currently finishing his PhD in Urban Planning at Columbia University's Graduate School for Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Novy's research interests include planning history and theory, urban tourism, as well as urban development in North America and Europe.
Ingrid Olivo is a PhD student in Urban Planning at Columbia University. Her research focuses on the role of cultural heritage in post-disaster development planning.
Cuz Potter is a doctoral student in the Urban Planning Department at Columbia University.
Justin Steil is a joint PhD/JD student in Urban Planning and in Law at Columbia University. His research focuses on the exercise of power through control over space, especially through the relation between housing, land use and immigration.
The contributors provide cutting-edge analyses of contemporary urban restructuring, including the issues of neoliberalization, gentrification, colonization, "creative" cities, architecture and political power, sub-prime mortgage foreclosures and the ongoing struggles of "right to the city" movements. At the same time, the book explores the diverse interpretive frameworks – critical and otherwise – that are currently being used in academic discourse, in political struggles, and in everyday life to decipher contemporary urban transformations and contestations. The slogan, "cities for people, not for profit," sets into stark relief what the contributors view as a central political question involved in efforts, at once theoretical and practical, to address the global urban crises of our time.
Drawing upon European and North American scholarship in sociology, politics, geography, urban planning and urban design, the book provides useful insights and perspectives for citizens, activists and intellectuals interested in exploring alternatives to contemporary forms of capitalist urbanization.
Drawing on data collected through a two-year study of volunteer stewards who planted trees as part of the MillionTreesNYC initiative in the United States, this book examines how projects like this can make a difference to the social fabric of a city. It analyses quantitative survey data along with qualitative interview data that enables the volunteers to share their personal stories and motivations for participating, revealing the strong link between environmental stewardship and civic engagement.
As city governments in developed countries are investing more and more in green infrastructure campaigns to change the urban landscape, this book sheds light on the social importance of these initiatives and shows how individuals’ efforts to reshape their cities serve to strengthen democracy. It draws out lessons that are highly applicable to global cities and policies on sustainability and civic engagement.