Urban Theory and the Urban Experience: Encountering the City
For the first time Urban Theory and the Urban Experience brings together classic and contemporary approaches to urban research in order to reveal the intellectual origins of urban studies, and the often unacknowledged debt that empirical and theoretical perspectives on the city owe to one another. From the foundations of modern urban theory in the work of Weber, Simmel, Benjamin, and Lefebvre to the writings of contemporary urban theorists such as David Harvey and Manuel Castells and the Los Angeles school of urbanism, this book traces the key developments in the idea of the City over more than a century. Chapters that deal with 'hands on' studies of the great metropolis from Charles Booth to the contemporary urban investigations of William J. Wilson complement these theoretical concerns, and are accompanied by an analysis of alternative ideas to the traditional metropolis ranging from 'the garden city' to 'the new urbanism'. The impact of new information and communication technologies, and the growing trend towards disaggregated urban networks are considered, all of which raise important questions about the viability, and physical and social identity, of the convention townscape.