Publication by DPDF 2011 Provincializing Global Urbanism: Toward Multiple Urban Futures Research Director Ananya Roy in The Futures of the City Region, edited by Michael Neuman and Angela Hull.
Does the ‘city region’ constitute a new departure in urbanisation? If so, what are the key elements of that departure? The realities of the urban in the 21st century are increasingly complex and polychromatic. The rise of global networks enabled by supranational administrations, both governmental and corporate, strongly influences and structures the management of urban life. How we conceive the city region has intellectual and practical consequences. First, in helping us grasp rapidly changing realities; and second in facilitating the flow of resources, ideas and learning to enhance the quality of life of citizens. Two themes interweave through this collection, within this broad palette. First are the socio-spatial constructs and their relationship to the empirical evidence of change in the physical and functional aspects of urban form. Second is what they mean for the spatial scales of governance. This latter theme explores territorially based understandings of intervention and the changing set of political concerns in selected case studies. In efforts to address these issues and improve upon knowledge, this collection brings together international scholars building new data-driven, cross-disciplinary theories to create new images of the city region that may prove to supplement if not supplant old ones. The book illustrates the dialectical interplay of theory and fact, time and space, and spatial and institutional which expands on our intellectual grasp of the theoretical debates on ‘city-regions’ through ‘practical knowing’, citing examples from Europe, the United States, Australasia, and beyond.