Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
The urban condition is today being radically transformed. Urban restructuring is accelerating, new urban spaces are being consolidated, and new forms of urbanization are crystallizing. In New Urban Spaces, Neil Brenner argues that understanding these mutations of urban life requires not only concrete research, but new theories of urbanization. To this end, Brenner proposes an approach that breaks with inherited conceptions of the urban as a bounded settlement unit-the city or the metropolis-and explores the multiscalar constitution and periodic rescaling of the capitalist urban fabric. Drawing on critical geopolitical economy and spatialized approaches to state theory, Brenner offers a paradigmatic account of how rescaling processes are transforming inherited formations of urban space and their variegated consequences for emergent patterns and pathways of urbanization. The book also advances an understanding of critical urban theory as radically revisable: key urban concepts must be continually reinvented in relation to the relentlessly mutating worlds of urbanization they aspire to illuminate.
Brenner is a critical urban theorist, sociologist and geographer who is interested in all aspects of research on cities and urbanization within the social sciences, the environmental humanities, the design disciplines and environmental studies. His writing and teaching focus on the theoretical, conceptual and methodological dimensions of urban questions, and on the challenges of reinventing our approach to urbanization in relation to the crises, contradictions and struggles of our time. Brenner has made influential contributions to scholarly debates on critical urban theory, the critique of capitalist urbanization, urban restructuring, state space, the political economy of rescaling, variegated neoliberalization and planetary urbanization.