chapter  3
27 Pages

Celebrating the city, for all the wrong reasons?

ByMeg Holden

This chapter explores ways with critical urban scholarship by finding reason for a richer, deeper grounding of progressive human endeavour in our cities, from Vancouver to Vladivostok to Venice. In nearly every corner of the world, urbanization is inevitability. Amidst a great many reasons to lose hope, a chorus of urban celebrants grasps the city as a reason to hold on to hope for a better future within urbanization. Critical urban scholarship sees the urban celebration as little more than a ruse, a "black-boxing" of the epistemological dynamics at play in the urban resurgence, a masked abandonment of prospects for any alternative reality to unjust, unsustainable, unfettered and inhumane cities. If urbanity is to hold meaning as a social frame, that is, as a guide to conditions where people can live good lives, and to encourage people to live well, then we need a moral or justice-oriented way of thinking about the city and our urban lives.