18 February 2009

Liveblog: On global grounds: Urban change and globalization

On global grounds: Urban change and globalization
Dr. Julia Nevárez
Sociology and Anthropology Department at Kean University

Based, in part, on the book On Global Grounds.

As we reflect on global perspectives, we see post-modern critiques of the failings of modernization, as expressed in Bruno Latour's We Have Never Been Modern.
there is no there left

New relationships emerge in the intersections of digital and built worlds. At this intersection are technologies like digital tracking of individual movements. Modernizations' homogenizing effects (see: McDonald's and Starbucks) are further complicated by development issues.


Parks, sidewalks and advertising often go upscale before the housing does. Urban changes are leading to changing patterns of social relations. Urban people can be defined by their relationships outside the city (or lack thereof) as much as by those relationships within the city. Rapid gentrification came to Barcelona as part of the 1992 Olympics - but can the temporary modern change last?

There are political effects of globalization as well. We need to know what globalization is about. And we need to take a global perspective to solve the larger problems. For instance, as someone complains about losing their job here due to outsourcing, we need to think about the need for that job elsewhere (India, Mexico?). I don't think she means that we simply favor the outsourced job, but that we can't address the problem if we don't understand the larger context.

Q: Where is there an example of a just city?
A: Reykjavik, Iceland or Curitiba, Brazil where the transit system progressively improves justice
But both still favor some forms of segregation as a means of addressing social relationships
Brasilia was a dream for a perfect city, but they didn't include the workers in that dream

(As usual, I apologize for the sloppy misrepresentations, but hope the links help you track back to 1 or 2 interesting points)

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