It is therefore imperative that domestic and international policymakers understand and adapt to the changing urban realities on the continent.
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The exact nature and cause of urban growth in Africa are not uncontentious. Research by Deborah Potts, for example, which is cited in the collection, demonstrates that it is more the result of natural population increase than a tidal wave of rural-urban migration.
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This distinction between urban growth and the rate of urbanisation is picked up in a number of chapters and has important implications for policymakers. However, the book does not labour the point.
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The emphasis is squarely on the fact that rapidly growing urban spaces in Africa are not receiving the attention they deserve — and require. A chapter by Jo Beall and Tom Goodfellow looks at the ways in which violence and war are played out in urban spaces. Their contribution seeks to address a perceived gap in the study of contemporary warfare in Africa — an omission that stems, in part, from the misconception that conflicts on the continent predominantly take the form of rural-based rebellions.
Feeding cities, they assert, will be a defining challenge for African governments — and donors — in the coming decades. The lack of an explicit focus on food security in cities and towns perpetuates a world view that hunger and malnutrition in Africa is primarily a rural problem — a misconception that Crush and Frayne seek to dispel. The Urban Revolution av Henri Lefebvre.
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Originally published in , The Urban Revolution marked Henri Lefebvre's first sustained critique of urban society, a work in which he pioneered the use of semiotic, structuralist, and poststructuralist methodologies in analyzing the development of the urban environment. Although it is widely considered a foundational book in contemporary thinking about the city, The Urban Revolution has never been translated into English--until now.
This first English edition, deftly translated by Robert Bononno, makes available to a broad audience Lefebvre's sophisticated insights into the urban dimensions of modern life. Lefebvre begins with the premise that the total urbanization of society is an inevitable process that demands of its critics new interpretive and perceptual approaches that recognize the urban as a complex field of inquiry.
Dismissive of cold, modernist visions of the city, particularly those embodied by rationalist architects and urban planners like Le Corbusier, Lefebvre instead articulates the lived experiences of individual inhabitants of the city. In contrast to the ideology of urbanism and its reliance on commodification and bureaucratization--the capitalist logic of market and state--Lefebvre conceives of an urban utopia characterized by self-determination, individual creativity, and authentic social relationships.
A brilliantly conceived and theoretically rigorous investigation into the realities and possibilities of urban space, The Urban Revolution remains an essential analysis of and guide to the nature of the city.