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Palgrave Macmillan

Enabling Urban Alternatives

Crises, Contestation, and Cooperation

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  • © 2019


  • Provides a rich pool of knowledge from diverese contributors on how, why, and by whom urban alternatives can be, and are being, enabled in a variety of urban contexts

  • Offers a unique dialogue between different disciplinary, theoretical, and geographically situated perspectives

  • Clear international appeal, with case studies from across Asia, Europe and North America

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About this book

This book asks how thinking, governing, performing, and producing the urban differently can assist in enabling the creation of alternative urban futures. It is a timely response to the ongoing crises and pressing challenges that inhabitants of cities, towns, and villages worldwide are faced with in the midst of what has been widely dubbed as ‘an urban age’. Starting from the premise that current urban development patterns are unsustainable in every sense of the word, the book explores how alternative patterns can be pursued by the wide variety of actors – from governments and international institutions to slum-dwellers and social movements – involved in the on-going production of our shared urban condition. The challenges addressed include exclusion and segregation; persisting poverty and increasing inequality; urban sprawl and changing land use patterns; and the spatial frames of urban policy. As such the book appeals to urban scholars, policy makers, activists, and others concerned with shaping the future of our cities and of urban life in general. Additionally, it is of interest to students in urban planning, architecture and design, human geography, urban sociology, and related fields.

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Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Thinking the Urban Differently

  2. Governing the Urban Differently

  3. Performing and Producing the Urban Differently


“Smart, critical, and refreshingly open minded, the voices collected here offer much needed new perspectives through which to consider urban problems. Neither polemic nor prescription, Enabling Urban Alternatives is instead a hopeful instigation.” (Prof. Gordon Douglas,  Urban & Regional Planning, San Jose State University, USA)

“Now more than ever we must explore alternative urban futures – if we hope to build an urban world that is socially just, environmentally sustainable and capable of maintaining the diversity of urban life. Enabling Urban Alternatives is a timely collection of essays, each of which grapples in a critically constructive way with the challenge of generating changes in our cities that are conducive to different urban forms and practices. This book shows the potential of interdisciplinarity in nourishing and enriching our way of thinking about cities; it also builds a unique framework for understanding alternative practices of urban life beyond the usual divide(s) between the Global North/Global South and the like. As such, it is of immediate relevance to anyone – from policy makers and activists to students and scholars – committed to promoting progressive change for people in cities around the world.” (Prof. Serena Vicari, Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Italy)

Editors and Affiliations

  • Danish Centre for Rural Research, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark

    Jens Kaae Fisker

  • Urban Studies URBEUR, University of Milano Bicocca, Milan, Italy

    Letizia Chiappini

  • University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo, Australia

    Lee Pugalis

  • Dipartimento di Architettura e Studi Urbani, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

    Antonella Bruzzese

About the editors

Jens Kaae Fisker is a post-doctoral fellow with the Danish Centre for Rural Research at the University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

Letizia Chiappini is a PhD candidate in Urban Studies (UrbEur Doctorate) at the University of Milano Bicocca, Italy, and in the Geographies of Globalization research group at the University of Amsterdam (joint doctorate), The Netherlands.

Lee Pugalis is Professor of Urban Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Antonella Bruzzese is Associate Professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy, where she teaches and does research and consultancy activities.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Enabling Urban Alternatives

  • Book Subtitle: Crises, Contestation, and Cooperation

  • Editors: Jens Kaae Fisker, Letizia Chiappini, Lee Pugalis, Antonella Bruzzese

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-981-13-1530-5Published: 19 December 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-13-1531-2Published: 08 December 2018

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIV, 292

  • Number of Illustrations: 12 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Urban Studies/Sociology, Human Geography, Urban Geography / Urbanism (inc. megacities, cities, towns), Urbanism

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