Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition

Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition

Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition

Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition

Synopsis

Two defining processes have shaped our age -- the urbanization of our planet and the uneven connections of globalization. Both are underpinned by radical transformations of networked infrastructures: telecommunications, transport, energy, water, and even urban streets. Splintering Urbanism offers a path-breaking analysis of the contemporary urban condition through the lens of such infrastructure networks. It develops an unprecedented international and interdisciplinary analysis of the complex interactions between infrastructure networks, new technologies, and contemporary urban spaces.

While investigating the effects of globalization and technology on the city, the authors take the reader on a global journey encompassing financial districts, e-commerce spaces and logistics hubs, new media districts, airports, malls, theme parks, gated communities and green neighborhoods. With its global focus, Splintering Urbanism will be essential reading for urbanists, geographers, planners, architects, sociologists, researchers in science and technology and communication studies, and all those seeking a definitive statement of the contemporary urban condition.

Excerpt

How is one to conceive of both the organization of a city and the construction of a collective infrastructure?

(Michel Foucault, 1984, 239)

I should tell you of the hidden [city of] Berenice, the city of the just…linking a network of wires and pipes and pulleys and pistons and counter -weights that infiltrates like a climbing plant.

(Italo Calvino, 1974, 148)

Cities are the summation and densest expressions of infrastructure, or more accurately a set of infrastructures, working sometimes in harmony, sometimes with frustrating discord, to provide us with shelter, contact, energy, water and means to meet other human needs. the infrastructure is a reflection of our social and historical evolution. It is a symbol of what we are collectively, and its forms and functions sharpen our understanding of the similarities and differences among regions, groups and cultures. the physical infrastructure consists of various structures, buildings, pipes, roads, rail, bridges, tunnels and wires. Equally important and subject to change is the 'software' for the physical infrastructure, all the formal and informal rules for the operation of the systems.

(Herman and Ausubel, 1988, 1)

The town is the correlate of the road. the town exists only as a function of circulation and of circuits; it is a singular point on the circuits which create it and which it creates. It is defined by entries and exits: something must enter it and exit from it.

(Deleuze and Guattari, 1997, 186)

Cities are like electrical transformers: they increase tension, accelerate exchanges, and are endlessly churning human lives.

(Fernand Braudel, 1967, cited in Paquout, 2000, 83)

Cities accumulate and retain wealth, control and power because of what flows through them, rather than what they statically contain.

(Beaverstock et al., 2000, 126)

If the city is to survive, process must have the final word. in the end the urban truth is in the flow.

(Spiro Kostof, 1992, 305)

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