During the past decade, the world reached the point of becoming more urban than not, as the majority of people on the planet now live not in small towns or villages but in provincial, national, and global cities. Scholars have long been fascinated by so-called global cities, world cities, and the urban engines of the global economy. James H. Spencer argues, however, that such an emphasis misses the central fact that urbanization goes well beyond the usual suspects of New York, Tokyo, London, and Shanghai. The author charts urbanization across the Global South and North, resulting in what he describes as a planetary global urban ecosystem. This concept that challenges us to realize that in daily life, their similar physical and social ecosystems that make cities more understandable to each other than to their own rural hinterlands. Spencer’s vivid case studies of Addis Ababa, Ho Chi Minh City, Honolulu, and New York draw out the commonalities of our intertwined built and social environments and how they express a shared humanity across continents and cultures.
About the Author
James H. Spencer is professor of city and regional planning and chair of the Department of Planning, Development and Preservation at Clemson University.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Urbanization and the Construction of the Global Urban Ecosystem
Chapter 2: Urban Histories: Arriving at the Global Urban Ecosystem
Chapter 3: Saigon’s “Do-Your-Timers”: Rural Transformation and the Urban Transition in Saigon
Chapter 4: “Do-Your-Timers” African Style: Addis Ababa, the Unlikely Capital of Africa
Chapter 5: The Indigenous City? Reconciling an Old-Timers' Honolulu with a Global Society
Chapter 6: “For-All-Timers”: New York City’s Empire State of Mind
Chapter 7: The Global Urban Ecosystem: A Globally Integrated Ecology of Everyday Life