chapter  3
The City as Target, or Perpetuation and Death
ByRyan Bishop, Gregory Clancey
Pages 24

A s the global city emerges ever more hegemonic, the attention it reapsis not always welcome. Attention is another word for targeting. The city is a target for a range of catastrophes from natural disasters (such as earthquakes, floods, tornados, hurricanes, tidal waves, and plagues) to those of more obvious human construction (chemical spills, factory explosions, and mass transit accidents or derailments), strategic geopolitical targeting (official military aggression to terrorist attacks), large-scale macro-investments (International Monetary Fund or World Bank interventionism, UN development schemes), more modest global investing (by multinational corporations, advertising campaigns, Information Technology networks, real estate speculation, global capital maneuvering, currency markets, satellite imaging of neighborhoods for marketing purposes), planned (il)legal immigration (foreign labor for menial tasks), or unplanned illegal immigration (refugees fleeing war, famines, ethnic cleansing). The list hints at the range of the tropological and intellectual terrain proffered by the city-as-target model. Their density of population, material goods, and wealth have made cities, from their inception, simultaneously a given culture’s goal (future and potential glory realized) and

vulnerability (future and potential destruction of the culture’s perceived trajectory).