This book systematically explores the contours of urban inclusivity in advanced city-regions to initiate a cross-geographical and cross-cultural discussion of actually existing inclusionary neighbourhoods and their capacities to tackle urban inequality. The chapters of this book are organized into four parts, in accordance with the four-dimensional framework introduced in this chapter. The framework is derived from the workings of the public sector, private market, informal communities, and voluntary sector (or civil society). By focusing on how these dimensions complement and counter each other, we open up new approaches to the politics of the urban in a way that acknowledges the interlocked nature of stakeholder interests.
- Social inequality
- Urban studies
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In relation to the distinction between developing/emerging (i.e. Third World, Global South) and developed (i.e. First World, the West, advanced regions), Goldman (2011: 233) points out that within the current financialized global context, this distinction is now rather translated as “declining” (developed) and “growing” (developing) in terms of opportunities for profitable investment in urban projects.
With the term centrality and centralities, we refer to the geographical importance of relatively centrally located places in relation to economic opportunities and social resources such as welfare-related services. Centrality in the city is commonly augmented by high rates of accessibility (such as public infrastructure) on the hand but may also be threatened by urban projects that seek to extract untapped value from it. Commonly, these centralities are taken up by critical urban research as they make up the frontier of renewed rounds of investments under the neoliberal context of reurbanizing capital flows (i.e., predominately financially led urban projects. See, e.g., Smith 1996).
Here, the term “tendency” implies a possibility that capital might not follow through on its quest for (re)valorization. As some the case studies will show, injections of big capital can be offset by public measures and local practices with different agendas.
The ideological resonance of private market adherence, perhaps, is best exemplified in Margaret Thatcher’s belief that “there is no such thing as society, only individual men and women.” This belief was widely propagated in her quest to defund the British state and to marketize its public functions, in what was widely considered as an aggressive enforcement of neoliberal policies. In the United States, this was echoed in the view that “social order and integration should come exclusively from individual responsibility, family, or religion” (Storper 2016: 249, emphasis ours).
With the term “unreciprocated care” we refer to acts of caring that are of altruistic motives and not precipitated on an expectation of returned favours. They are rather unilateral and imply degrees of selflessness. As explained in the next paragraph, the motives of plane 4 slightly differ as the acts here are rather precipitated on the idea of mutual solidarity.
The term “surplus population” fits the description here well, as it implies a population that is superfluous to capital (mostly in terms of productive employability but also in terms of the inability to consume commodities. See, e.g., Tyner 2013) and for whom the availability of non-commodified essential services is vital to their sustenance.
But, as Castells (1979) points out, the socially reproductive capacities of public urbanization ultimately must be in function of capital accumulation. Public housing, in this sense, has served to keep housing affordable to a (relatively) low-wage population, which in turn is a subsidy to capital as it keeps the cost of labor down (see also Castells et al. 1991).
This may vary from changes in rent, in connection with changes in flat sizes, new amenities, extended or improved public infrastructure etc. (see Goh 2001 on the discourses and effects of upgrading to Singapore’s public housing under the globalizing conditions of the 1990s).
In relation to our framework, we can define the spaces of incomplete urbanization as those that are not in accordance to the regulatory arrangements of plane 1 and 2.
“Ideologues have tried to eliminate dialectical thought and the analysis of contradictions in favor of logical thought—that is, the identification of coherence and nothing but coherence” (Lefebvre 2003: 14).
“Intricate minglings of different uses in cities are not a form of chaos. On the contrary, they represent a complex and highly developed form of order. Everything in this book so far has been directed toward showing how this complex order of mingled uses work” (Jacobs 1961: 222).
“Spatial practices […] secretly structure the determining conditions of social life” (De Certeau 1984: 96).
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Kornatowski, G., Mizuuchi, T. (2023). Introduction: Towards a Framework of Urban Inclusivity. In: Mizuuchi, T., Kornatowski, G., Fukumoto, T. (eds) Diversity of Urban Inclusivity. International Perspectives in Geography, vol 20. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-8528-7_1
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