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Description - Searching for the Just City by Peter Marcuse

Cities are many things. Among their least appealing aspects, cities are frequently characterized by concentrations of inequalities, great wealth and abject poverty, powerful leaders and often subservient populations. Public decision-making in contemporary cities is full of conflict, and the resolution of disputes is not often predicated on principles of justice. If today's cities are full of injustices, what would a Just City look like? Is a Just City merely a utopia, or has it practical relevance? Is it the best formulation of the most desirable goal for urban development? This book engages the growing debate around these questions. The notion of the Just City emerges from the intellectual history of the ideal city and philosophical discussions about what justice is. The contributors to this volume including: David Harvey, Robert Beauregard, Dolores Hayden, Peter Marcuse and Susan Fainstein define the concept of the Just City and then examine it from many angles, supporting and developing the concept or questioning it and suggesting alternatives. Explorations of the use of the concept in practice include case studies primarily from U.S. cities, but also with illuminating looks at cities in Germany and Israel. The authors find common ground in the conviction that much more far-reaching changes are required in the development of our cities than many professionals, and particularly planners, contemplate. They find that a forthright call for justice in all aspects of city life, putting the question of what a Just or a Good or an Ideal City should be on the day-to-day agenda of urban reform, can be a practical approach to solving concrete questions of urban policy, from what to do with a wholesale food market in the Bronx to avoiding gentrification around mega-projects. The contributing authors thus bridge the gap between theoretical conceptualizations of urban justice and the reality of planning and building cities. The notion of the "Just City" is an empowering framework for contemporary urban actors to improve the quality of urban life.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415776134
ISBN-10: 0415776139
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 27-May-2009
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Peter Marcuse

Peter Marcuse, a lawyer and urban planner, is Professor Emeritus of Urban Planning at Columbia University in New York City. He is currently involved in, and has written on, the impact of September 11 on New York City, of Katrina on New Orleans, and on globalization, focusing on its impact on social justice. James Connolly is a doctoral student in Urban Planning at Columbia University. His research focuses on the role of community organizations within complex organizational fields of urban policy-making. Johannes Novy is currently finishing his PhD in Urban Planning at Columbia University's Graduate School for Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Novy's research interests include planning history and theory, urban tourism, as well as urban development in North America and Europe. Ingrid Olivo is a PhD student in Urban Planning at Columbia University. Her research focuses on the role of cultural heritage in post-disaster development planning. Cuz Potter is a doctoral student in the Urban Planning Department at Columbia University. Justin Steil is a joint PhD/JD student in Urban Planning and in Law at Columbia University. His research focuses on the exercise of power through control over space, especially through the relation between housing, land use and immigration.

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