Advertisement

Slums: Note for an Urban Theory

  • Yves Pedrazzini
  • Jérôme Chenal
  • Jean-Claude Bolay
Chapter
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 119)

Abstract

Regarding the critique of urbanism and sociology of the fragmented city, slum theory aims at understanding in what ways slums reflect the segregated city and dominant urban order, when its inhabitants generally have neither the opportunity nor the means to resist this order, other than by increasing the informality of their urban integration.

In this chapter, we invert the usual position of city professionals, which consists in considering the slum as a problem in terms of property, services, equipment, health, violence, and insecurity. This reverse logic leads us to envisage slums not as problems, but rather as solutions – for innovative “good practices” of urban management in particular. But it is not enough: it is obviously a theoretical reversal, an element of urban and critical theory, which we use to foster a symbolic rehabilitation of the slums. That being said, we are endeavouring to “theorize” the slum as a novel agent of urban transformation, for which the position of an outsider enables us to reveal another layer of the contemporary city: social, cultural and economic fabric, as much urban as material, which may eventually allow the slums and their inhabitants to reaffirm their “right to the city”.

This theoretical stance obliges the scientists and policy makers to think differently and regard the slum as the missing piece of a history of urbanism in the twentieth century.

Keywords

Urban Planning Urban Agriculture Urban Science Urban Rehabilitation Project Urban Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Agier, M. (1999). L’invention de la ville. Banlieues, townships, invasions et favelas. Amsterdam: Editions des Archives contemporaines/OPA.Google Scholar
  2. Amin, A., & Graham, S. (1997). The ordinary city. Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society (Institute of British Geographers), 22, 411–429.Google Scholar
  3. Bélanger, P., et al. (2000). Lagos, Harvard project of the city. In R. Koolhaas & Harvard City Project (Eds.), Mutations (pp. 650–719). Barcelona: Actar and Arc en Rêve Centre d’Architecture.Google Scholar
  4. Benjamin, W. (1931, November 20). Der zerstörerische Charakter. Frankfort: Frankfurter Zeitung.Google Scholar
  5. Brillembourg, A., Klumpner, H., & Urban Think Tank. (2013). Torre David: Informal vertical communities. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers.Google Scholar
  6. Castells, M. (1972). La question urbaine. Paris: Maspéro.Google Scholar
  7. Davis, M. (2004, March–April). Planet of slums. New Left Review, 26. London.Google Scholar
  8. De Soto, H. (1986). El otro sendero – la revolución informal. Lima: El Barronio.Google Scholar
  9. Fainstein, S. (2010). The just city. Ithaca: Cornell Univeristy Press.Google Scholar
  10. Fanon, F. (1961). Les damnés de la terre. Paris: Maspéro.Google Scholar
  11. Foucault, M. (1967). Des espaces autres (conférence au Cercle d’études architecturales, 14 mars 1967). Architecture, Mouvement, Continuité, 5, October 1984, 46–49.Google Scholar
  12. Gandy, M. (2005). Learning from Lagos. New Left Review, 33. London.Google Scholar
  13. Gilbert, A. (2007). The return of the slum: Does the language matter? International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 31(4), 697–713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Granotier, B. (1980). La planète des bidonvilles. Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  15. Harvey, D. (2001). Spaces of capital: Towards a critical geography. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Harvey, D. (2008). The right to the City. New Left Review, 53(September–October), 20–40.Google Scholar
  17. Huchzermeyer, M. (2011). Cities with ‘slums’: From informal settlement eradication to a right to the city in Africa. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.Google Scholar
  18. Laboratoire d’urbanisme insurrectionnel. (2011). Architecture et bidonville: humanisme et néo-libéralisme. 2011/7. http://laboratoireurbanismeinsurrectionnel.blogspot.ch/2011/07/architecture-et-bidonville-humanisme-et.html. Accessed 24 Feb 2015.
  19. Lefebvre, H. (1970). La révolution urbaine. Paris: Gallimard.Google Scholar
  20. Lefebvre, H. (1974). La production de l’espace. Paris: Editions Anthropos.Google Scholar
  21. Legg, S., & McFarlane, C. (2008). Ordinary urban spaces: Postcolonialism and development. Environment and Planning A, 40, 6–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marsault, R. (2010). Résistance à l’effacement. Dijon: Les Presses du réel.Google Scholar
  23. McFarlane, C., & Robinson, J. (2012). Introduction: Experiment in comparative urbanism. Urban Geography, 33(6), 765–773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Parnell, S., & Robinson, J. (2012). (Re)theorizing cities from the. Global South: Looking Beyond Neoliberalism, Urban Geography, 33(4), 593–617.Google Scholar
  25. Pedrazzini, Y. (2005). La violence des villes. Paris: Editions de l’Atelier, “Le Livre Equitable”.Google Scholar
  26. Pedrazzini, Y., Vincent-Geslin, S., & Thorer, A. (2014). Violence of urbanization, poor neighborhoods and large-scale projects: Lessons from Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia. Built Environment, 40(3), “Urban Violence”, guest editor: Yasser Elsheshtawy. London: Alexandrine Press.Google Scholar
  27. Perlman, J. E. (1976). The myth of marginality: Urban poverty and politics in Rio de Janeiro. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  28. Rao, V. (2012). Slum as theory: Mega-cities and urban models. In C. Greig Chrysler, S. Cairns, & H. Heynen (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of architectural theory (pp. 671–686). London: SAGE.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Robinson, J. (2006). Ordinary cities: Between modernity and development. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Roy, A. (2009). The 21st-century metropolis: New geographies of theory. Regional Studies, 43.6(July), 819–830.Google Scholar
  31. Roy, A. (2011). Slumdog cities: Rethinking subaltern urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35.2(March), 223–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Soja, E. (2000). Postmetropolis: Critical studies of cities and regions. Malden: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)LausanneSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations