Overlooked Cities reflects and impacts the changing landscape of urban studies and geography from the perspective of smaller and more regional cities in the urban South. It critically examines the ways in which cities are uniquely positioned within different urban and knowledge hierarchies.

The book unpacks the dynamics of “overlooked-ness” in these cities, identifies emerging trends and processes that characterise such cities and provides alternative sites for comparative urban theory. It is organised into two themes: firstly, politics and power and secondly, production and negotiation of knowledge. The authors share a commitment to challenging the unevenness of urban knowledge production by approaching these cities on their own terms. Only then can we harness the insights emanating from these overlooked cities, and contribute to a deeper and richer understanding of the urban itself. This collection of essays, focusing on 13 cities in nine countries and across three continents (Luzhou, China; Bharatpur, Nepal; Bloemfontein/Mangaung and Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa; Zarqa, Jordan; Santa Fe, Argentina; Manizales, Colombia; Arequipa and Trujillo, Peru; Dili, Timor-Leste; Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang, Indonesia) makes a timely contribution to urban scholarship.

The volume will be of interest to scholars from the disciplines of urban studies, geography, development and anthropology, as well as postgraduate students researching the global South and third year undergraduate students studying cities and urban studies, development and critical thinking.

part I|64 pages

Politics and power in overlooked cities

chapter 1|18 pages


Re-/un-thinking Chinese urban hierarchy with a medium-sized city

chapter 2|16 pages

The changing logic of urban planning in Nepal

From informal to incremental

chapter 3|13 pages

The marginalised centre

Overlooked cities in South Africa’s interior

chapter 4|15 pages

Debt and developmental impasse in the secondary city

Geographies of municipal finance in Zarqa, Jordan

part II|83 pages

Production and negotiation of knowledge in overlooked cities

chapter 5|21 pages

Intermediate cities as urban innovators

An analysis of disaster risk management in Santa Fe, Argentina, and Manizales, Colombia

chapter 6|18 pages

Comparing secondary cities

Holistic evaluation of urban development in Arequipa and Trujillo, Peru

chapter 7|19 pages

Post-conflict Dili

An overlooked urbanscape reaching out for development

chapter 8|15 pages

Middle cities

The politics of intermediary of Bandar Lampung, Semarang and Bontang city in Indonesia under climate crisis