In This Chapter

‘From the South’

Authored by: Sophie Oldfield , Susan Parnell

The Routledge Handbook on Cities of the Global South

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415818650
eBook ISBN: 9780203387832
Adobe ISBN: 9781136678202


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Writing from the southern tip of Africa in the crisp winter temperatures of June, this is an exciting moment for us personally and professionally. This is a big book on what are path-determining issues for the twenty-first century. Cities, especially southern cities, are our future. We want to make clear, however, that this book does not establish a body of scholarship on the global urban south through a critique of the norms and the limits, the problems and the lacunae of northern scholarship and its universal presumptions and applications. It is instead a celebration of scholars and scholarship committed to making urban futures better, more interesting, legible, sustainable, and more just. It also works towards a geographical realignment in urban studies, bringing into conversation a wide array of cities across the global south — the ‘ordinary’, ‘mega’, ‘global’ and ‘peripheral’ — as well as diversely situated authors and perspectives. As the nuanced texts and the many glorious images in the book reveal, assuming a southern perspective, or point of departure, inevitably alters one's gaze on cities: this is an invigorating, not debilitating, shift in orientation for urban studies.

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