To overlook is not merely to ignore. It may involve a conscious choice to look elsewhere, or it may constitute an act of simultaneously knowing but not caring. The lack of attention given to smaller cities is a self-imposed limitation on our understanding of the urban. It implies that these cities are less worthy of critical analysis or that they experience the same urban development issues but on a different scale. Methodological, theoretical and conceptual frameworks have yet to position smaller and/or more regional cities front and centre, and yet it is in these cities where the majority of city-dwellers reside.

The aims of Overlooked Cities are to (1) unpack the dynamics of “overlooked-ness” in these cities, (2) identify emerging trends and processes that characterise such cities and (3) provide 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.