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Narrating the City
Mediated Representations of Architecture, Urban Forms and Social Life
Edited by Aysegül Akçay Kavakoglu, Türkan Nihan Haciömeroglu, and Lisa Landrum
Intellect Books, 2020

An analysis of the ways film and media create topographies of cities, architecture, and metropolitan experiences.

Narrating the City examines how film and related visual media offer insights and commentary on the city as both a constructed object and a lived social experience. It brings together filmmakers, architects, digital artists, designers, and media journalists who critically read, reinterpret, and create narratives of the city. Analyzing a variety of international films and placing them in dialogue with video art, photographic narratives, and emerging digital image-based technologies, the authors explore the expanding range of “mediated” narratives of contemporary architecture and urban culture from both a media and a sociological standpoint. 

The authors explore how moving-image narratives can create cinematic topographies, presenting familiar cities and modes of seeing in unfamiliar ways. The authors then turn to the new age of digital image making and consumption, revealing new techniques of representation, mediation, and augmentation of sensorial reality for city dwellers. The book’s emphasis on narrative also offers insights into critical societal issues including cultural identity, diversity, memory, and spatial politics, as they are both informed by and represented in various media.


front cover of Nature and the City
Nature and the City
Making Environmental Policy in Toronto and Los Angeles
Gene Desfor and Roger Keil
University of Arizona Press, 2004
Pollution of air, soil, and waterways has become a primary concern of urban environmental policy making, and over the past two decades there has emerged a new era of urban policy that links development with ecological issues, based on the notion that both nature and the economy can be enhanced through technological changes to production and consumption systems. This book takes a new look at this application of "ecological modernization" to contemporary urban political-ecological struggles. Considering policy processes around land-use in urban watersheds and pollution of air and soil in two disparate North American "global cities," it criticizes the dominant belief in the power of markets and experts to regulate environments to everyone’s benefit, arguing instead that civil political action by local constituencies can influence the establishment of beneficial policies.

The book emphasizes ‘subaltern’ environmental justice concerns as instrumental in shaping the policy process. Looking back to the 1990s—when ecological modernization began to emerge as a dominant approach to environmental policy and theory—Desfor and Keil examine four case studies: restoration of the Don River in Toronto, cleanup of contaminated soil in Toronto, regeneration of the Los Angeles River, and air pollution reduction in Los Angeles. In each case, they show that local constituencies can develop political strategies that create alternatives to ecological modernization. When environmental policies appear to have been produced through solely technical exercises, they warn, one must be suspicious about the removal of contention from the process.

In the face of economic and environmental processes that have been increasingly influenced by neo-liberalism and globalization, Desfor and Keil’s analysis posits that continuing modernization of industrial capitalist societies entails a measure of deliberate change to societal relationships with nature in cities. Their book shows that environmental policies are about much more than green capitalism or the technical mastery of problems; they are about how future urban generations live their lives with sustainability and justice.

front cover of Neighbourhoods for the City in Pacific Asia
Neighbourhoods for the City in Pacific Asia
Kong Chong Ho
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
The largest cities in Pacific Asia are the engines of their countries’ economic growth, seats of national and regional political power, and repositories of the nation’s culture and heritage. The economic changes impacting large cities interact with political forces along with social cultural concerns, and in the process also impact the neighbourhoods of the city. Neighbourhoods for the City in Pacific Asia looks at local collective action and city government responses and its impact on the neighbourhood and the city. A multi-sited comparative approach is taken in studying local action in five important cities (Bangkok, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore and Taipei) in Pacific Asia. With site selection in these five cities guided by local experts, neighbourhood issues associated with the fieldsites are explored through interviews with a variety of stakeholders involved in neighourhood building and change. The book enables comparisons across a number of key issues confronting the city: heritage (Bangkok and Taipei), local community involved provisioning of amenities (Seoul and Singapore), placemaking versus place marketing (Bangkok and Hong Kong). Cities are becoming increasingly important as centers for politics, citizen engagement and governance. The collaborative efforts city governments establish with local communities become an important way to address the liveability of cities.

front cover of New Negro Artists in Paris
New Negro Artists in Paris
African American Painters and Sculptors in the City of Light, 1922-1934
Leininger-Miller, Theresa
Rutgers University Press, 2001
The New Negro Artist in Paris analyzes the experiences and works of six African American artists who lived and worked in Paris during the Jazz Age sculptors Elizabeth Prophet and Augusta Savage, and painters Palmer Hayden, Hale Woodruff, Archibald J. Motley, Jr., and Albert Alexander Smith. More than 120 works of art are analyzed, many never before published.

These artists exhibited the works they created in Paris at prestigious salons in France and in the United States, winning fellowships, grants, and awards. Leininger-Miller argues that it was study abroad that won these artists critical acclaim, establishing their reputations as some of the most significant leaders of the New Negro movement in the visual arts. She begins her study with a history of the debut of African American artists in Paris, 1830–1914, then provides readers with rarely seen profiles of each of the six artists from their birth through the end of their time abroad. Finally, Leininger-Miller examines patterns and differences in these individuals’ backgrounds and development, their patronage in the United States and France, their shared experiences abroad, and the impact their study in Paris had on the rest of their careers.

front cover of New York University and the City
New York University and the City
An Illustrated History
Frusciano, Thomas J
Rutgers University Press, 1997

In New York University and the City, Thomas J. Frusciano and Marilyn H. Pettit situate the history of a unique urban university within the context of the social, political, and economic history of New York City. The authors trace the movement northward on Manhattan Island of both university and city, from the commercial hustle and bustle around City Hall, where the first classes were held in 1832, to the rural environs of Greenwich Village, and ultimately even farther north in 1894 to the undergraduate extension on the "secluded hilltop" of University Heights in the Bronx.

Vividly illustrated with both historical and contemporary images, New York University and the City explores various themes in the history of higher education and how NYU responded to changes in urban demographics, curriculum demands, and physical space during critical periods in the city's development. The relationship between university and city is further examined through extensive biographical portraits of the many historical personalities who made contributions to the development of both city and university.

The founding of New York University in 1831 is a watershed in the history of higher education in the United States. Albert Gallatin, former secretary of the treasury, led a group that proposed the creation of an institution of higher learning in New York City that would "correspond with the spirit and wants of the age and country," a nondenominational institution that would enlarge the opportunities of education for those qualified and inclined. NYU was expected to educate not only gentlemen scholars but also the sons of the great commercial metropolis. It also reflected and symbolized the aspirations of the city. By 1931, NYU was the nation's largest private university. Frusciano and Pettit chronicle the university's growth and struggles to its ultimate position as one of the most prestigious academic research institutions in the world.


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