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Urban crisis: Bonfire of vanities to find opportunities in the ashes

May, Tim ORCID: 2017. Urban crisis: Bonfire of vanities to find opportunities in the ashes. Urban Studies 54 (9) , pp. 2189-2198. 10.1177/0042098017700296

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This article argues that a critical urban studies needs to examine the reproduction of crisis in cities not just at a macro level, but also in the day-to-day activities in urban administrations. Time and power are implicated in frenetic activities in which officials find themselves beleaguered by the pace of change and the opportunities for learning then evaporate. An urban imaginary, based on permanent possibilities for the future, enables a culture of expertise to emerge that is at odds with democracy through a separation between the forms of justification it deploys and the contexts of its application. That process enables a spectator view of the urban that is fed by an antiseptic scientism in which models and ideas for urban development circulate without sensitivity to context. The article calls for a movement away from these narrowly constituted forms of knowledge production and reception to provide a responsible politics through a more open and inclusive approach to urban development.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
ISSN: 1360063X 00420980
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 28 February 2017
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 07:35

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