The Rise of Progressive Cities East and West

Part of the ARI - Springer Asia Series book series (ARI, volume 6)


The rise of progressive cities is an invitation to understand the conditions that enable progressive modes of participatory governance that expand the right to the city in the pursuit of social justice. The focus on progressive cities is essential as cities are rapidly becoming key sites of policy-making in the contemporary world. In contrast to national levels, governance at city scales can more readily foster democratic and vital day-to-day links between government, civil society, and business interests. We stress the different paths taken toward progressive governance, paths marked by democratizing national politics in East Asia and long-standing local democratic participation in Europe. As the studies show, cities are found to be progressive in different ways, and some are experiencing serious junctures that are impeding the gains they have made. The chapter concludes by showing how the 13 city studies of the book are organized along three themes. Theme 1 incorporates the overviews, conceptualizations, and practices in the making of progressive cities. Theme 2 includes chapters that examine specific urban policies focused on inclusion and distributive justice. The authors of chapters brought together in theme 3 explore the idea of conviviality and the associational life of city residents and nonresidents at community and city scales. Discussions of the urban commons, vernacular heritage, and relations with the natural environment are included to show how motives other than those for material gain also arise from grassroots mobilizations and local governance politics aimed at enhancing of urban lifeworlds. The chapters in this book provide hopeful as well as cautionary tales about struggles for progressive cities. Our intention is not to prove that a given city is progressive in any absolute way. It instead uses the lens of our concept of progressive cities to comparatively assess processes of urban governance in the world today and, in so doing, contribute to shifting the discourse on cities toward ideas of human flourishing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Urban & Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA
  2. 2.Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3ParisFrance
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and Asia Research InstituteNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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