City of Extremes

The Spatial Politics of Johannesburg
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Dimensions and Pages: 235 x 155 mm, 480 pp
  • EAN: 9781868145232
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00

Martin J. Murray gets beneath the surface of the city’s chaotic present to discover the inertia of long-term deployments.Lindsay Bremner, Professor of Architecture, Temple University

… navigates the slippery interfaces where mega-develop -ment, social progress, dystopian dread, racial enclaving and mobilities of all kinds intersect, revealing both the alarming disposition of Africa’s most hetero geneous city and a rough-hewn humanity despite the odds.AbdouMaliq Simone, author of For the City Yet to Come: Changing African Life in Four Cities

City of Extremes is a powerful critique of urban development in greater Johannesburg since the end of apartheid in 1994. Martin J. Murray describes how a loose alliance of city-builders – including real estate developers, large-scale property owners, municipal officials, and security specialists – has sought to remake Johannesburg in the upbeat image of a “world-class” city.

By creating new sites of sequestered luxury catering to the comfort, safety, and security of affluent urban residents, they have produced a new spatial dynamic of social exclusion, effectively barricading the mostly black urban poor from full participation in the mainstream of urban life. This partitioning of the cityscape is enabled by an urban planning environment of limited regulation or intervention into the prerogatives of real estate capital.

Combining insights from urban studies, cultural geography, and urban sociology, Murray suggests that the “global cities” paradigm is inade quate to understanding the historical specificity of cities in the Global South, including the colonial mining town turned postcolonial megacity of Johannesburg.

With Duke University Press

Introduction: Spatial Politics in the Precarious City

I. MAKING SPACE: CITY BUILDING AND THE PRODUCTION OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Chapter 1. The Restless Urban Landscape: The Evolving Spatial Geography of Johannesburg
Chapter 2. The Flawed Promise of the High-Modernist City: City Building at the Apex of Apartheid Rule

II. UNRAVELING SPACE: CENTRIFUGAL URBANISM AND THE CONVULSIVE CITY
Chapter 3. Hollowing out the Center: Johannesburg Turned Inside Out
Chapter 4. Worlds Apart: The Johannesburg Inner City and the Making of the Outcast Ghetto
Chapter 5. The Splintering Metropolis: Laissez-faire Urbanism and Unfettered Suburban Sprawl

III. FORTIFYING SPACE: SIEGE ARCHITECTURE AND ANXIOUS URBANISM
Chapter 6. Defensive Urbanism after Apartheid: Spatial Partitioning and the New Fortification Aesthetic
Chapter 7. Entrepreneurial Urbanism and the Private City
Chapter 8. Reconciling Arcadia and Utopia: Gated Residential Estates at the Metropolitan Edge
Epilogue: Putting Johannesburg in its Place: The Ordinary City

Martin J. Murray is Professor of Urban Planning at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and Adjunc t Professor at the Center for African and African-America n Studies at the University of Michigan, United States.

Martin J. Murray gets beneath the surface of the city’s chaotic present to discover the inertia of long-term deployments.Lindsay Bremner, Professor of Architecture, Temple University

… navigates the slippery interfaces where mega-develop -ment, social progress, dystopian dread, racial enclaving and mobilities of all kinds intersect, revealing both the alarming disposition of Africa’s most hetero geneous city and a rough-hewn humanity despite the odds. — AbdouMaliq Simone, author of For the City Yet to Come: Changing African Life in Four Cities

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