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The urban now: Theorising cities beyond the new

Robinson, J; (2013) The urban now: Theorising cities beyond the new. European Journal of Cultural Studies , 16 (6) pp. 659-677. 10.1177/1367549413497696. Green open access

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Abstract

Urban studies has aligned cities closely with modernity, with strong implications for their conceptualisation. Through the 20th century the founding analyses of urban studies drew on a specific (western) version of urban modernity to define universal accounts of urbanity, excluding many cities from contributing to broader theorisations of the urban. In addition, urban theory has often been inspired by the modernity of cities, identifying 'the new' as the basis for distinctive approaches to understanding cities. In the wake of the move towards a more global urban studies, the extent to which traditions of thinking cities through the inherited analytical lens of urban modernity persist needs to be considered. To counter the continuing effects of theorising from the idea of modernity, or the new, the analytical device of the 'urban now' is developed from Walter Benjamin's analysis of modernity to propose new geographies of theorising the urban. © The Author(s) 2013.

Type: Article
Title: The urban now: Theorising cities beyond the new
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1367549413497696
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1367549413497696
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Global urban studies, modernity, urban theory, Walter Benjamin
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1455828
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