Key Thinkers on Cities
- Regan Koch - Queen Mary University of London, UK
- Alan Latham - University College London, UK
Philosophy & Theory of Geography | Urban & Regional Sociology | Urban Geography
Key Thinkers on Cities provides an engaging introduction to the dynamic intellectual field of urban studies. It profiles the work of 40 innovative thinkers who represent the broad reach of contemporary urban scholarship and whose ideas have shaped the way cities around the world are understood, researched, debated and acted upon. Providing a synoptic overview that spans a wide range of academic and professional disciplines, theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, the entry for each key thinker comprises:
- A succinct introduction and overview
- Intellectual biography and research focus
- An explication of key ideas
- Contributions to urban studies
The book offers a fresh look at well-known thinkers who have been foundational to urban scholarship, including Jane Jacobs, Henri Lefebvre, Manuel Castells and David Harvey. It also incorporates those who have helped to bring a concern for cities to more widespread audiences, such as Jan Gehl, Mike Davis and Enrique Peñalosa. Notably, the book also includes a range of thinkers who have more recently begun to shape the study of cities through engagements with art, architecture, computer modelling, ethnography, public health, post-colonial theory and more.
With an introduction that provides a mapping of the current transdisciplinary field, and individual entries by those currently involved in cutting edge urban research in the Global North and South, this book promises to be an essential text for anyone interested in the study of cities and urban life. It will be of use to those in the fields of anthropology, economics, geography, sociology and urban planning.
"Key Thinkers on Cities is an excellent assemblage of urban studies scholars who reflect insightfully on the major ideas and contributions of many of the most influential contributors to urban theory and practice of the past three decades."
"Urban studies has experienced a theoretical renaissance of late, and the tumble dryer of ideas that has emerged underline the need to take stock. In this book, Koch and Latham are more than up to the task, bringing together a plurality of 40 thinkers on cities that spans economics, geography, sociology, anthropology, planning and beyond. The scope of the book is admirable, capturing the diversity of approaches and disciplines that builds on but also moves well beyond the usual suspects and trends. Indeed, and using a celestial analogy, the book covers not only the super-giant suns with their considerable gravity, but also those thinkers only emerging from the cosmic dust, rogue planets forging their own unique understandings, and the shooting stars that promise exciting new insights. But the edited volume goes one step further by relating theories across thinkers, thereby uncovering the rich relationalities that underpin urban studies today."
"The contributors to Key Thinkers weave together the personal and the professional to provide a wonderful set of insights into the people behind contemporary urban studies. And in the process they highlight the many and varied methods and theories that co-exist in this diverse and heterogeneous field. This book is a must-read for all of us who want to know more about why we understand cities in the way we do!"
"This is a fresh and comprehensive survey of the current state of urban theory, both revisiting the reputation of established experts as well as bringing forth new voices and theories that have enlivened the field in recent years."
Excellent overview of major current theories on cities. Provides a good summary of several diverse theories that students can easily compare and explore. These short summaries of urbanity theories allow them to be able to critically synthesise them in their work more easily .