John Wiley & Sons Learning the City Cover Learning the City: Translocal Assemblage and Urban Politicscritically examines the relationship betw.. Product #: 978-1-4051-9282-8 Regular price: $69.07 $69.07 In Stock

Learning the City

Knowledge and Translocal Assemblage

McFarlane, Colin

RGS-IBG Book Series


1. Edition August 2011
232 Pages, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-4051-9282-8
John Wiley & Sons

Buy now

Price: 73,90 €

Price incl. VAT, excl. Shipping

Further versions


Learning the City: Translocal Assemblage and Urban Politicscritically examines the relationship between knowledge, learning,and urban politics, arguing both for the centrality of learning forpolitical strategies and developing a progressive internationalurbanism.

* Presents a distinct approach to conceptualising the citythrough the lens of urban learning
* Integrates fieldwork conducted in Mumbai's informal settlementswith debates on urban policy, political economy, anddevelopment
* Considers how knowledge and learning are conceived and createdin cities
* Addresses the way knowledge travels and opportunities forlearning about urbanism between North and South

Series Editors' Preface ix

Acknowledgements x

Introduction 1

1 Learning Assemblages 15

Introduction 15

Translation: Distribution, Practice and Comparison 17

Coordinating Learning 19

Dwelling and Perception 21

Assemblage Space 23

Conclusion 30

2 Assembling the Everyday: Incremental Urbanism and TacticalLearning 32

Introduction 32

Incremental Urbanism 33

Learning the Unknown City: Street Children in Mumbai 43

Learning, Rhythm, Space 47

Tactical Learning 54

Conclusion 59

3 Learning Social Movements: Tactics, Urbanism and Politics62

Introduction 62

Knowing Social Movements 63

Global Slumming 66

The Housing Assemblage: Materializing Learning 69

Learning and Representation: Counting the Poor 74

Entrepreneurial Learning 85

Conclusion 90

4 Urban Learning Forums 92

Introduction 92

Uncertain Forums 93

Dialogic Urban Forums 98

Translocalism and Translation 105

Conclusion 113

5 Travelling Policies, Ideological Assemblages 115

Introduction 115

Translating Policy 117

Comparative Learning: Translation and Colonial Urbanism 122

Ideology and Postwar Urban Planning 128

Neoliberal Urban Learning Assemblages 134

Ideology and Explanation: Beyond Diffusionist Story-Making145

Conclusion 151

6 A Critical Geography of Urban Learning 153

Introduction 153

The Actual and the Possible 155

Agency and Critical Learning 160

Assemblage and the Critical Learning Imaginary 164

Postcolonial Urban Learning? 167

Conclusion 172

Conclusion 174

References 185

Index 205
"Learning the City makes an exhaustive case for framingour studies of knowledge and power through the optic of thelearning assemblage. Its revelatory power is arguably profound forMcFarlane, it promises nothing short of understanding the power toforge a different kind of city." (Antipode, 1September 2013)

"This book is a significant step in bringing learning tothe core of urban study... This volume's detailedfieldwork effectively supports its desire to see learning occupy acentral place in the production of more socially justurbanisms." (Area, 1 May 2013)

"Learning the Cityis a critical academic contributionuseful for scholars of the field. found it particularlyuseful for my research on policy circulation of Bus Rapid Transitconcepts through the South African city . . . While Learning theCityis probably too sophisticated for younger readers, it is sureto become indispensable for academics of thediscipline." (Geography Helvitica, 1 December 2012)"Through Learning the City McFarlane has made a majorcontribution to our understandings of the urban. In its commitmentto the diverse and lively practices through which the city islearned and known, in its engagement with the diverse forms ofagency and political practices through which agency is assembledand re-assembled the book enlivens understandings of spatialpolitics. It is also a text that is animated by a powerful sense ofhope that cities might come to bere-assembled in different waysthat are more equitable and more open to different agentic forcesand contributions." (Society and Space, 1 November 2012)

"There will certainly be a range of contributors that join in onthe exciting task of making these links. In Learning theCity, McFarlane successfully manages to open the black box ofurban learning in widening the perspective to acknowledge diverseurban learning practices, which may even bear a transformativepotential in certain contexts." (International PlanningStudies, 23 October 2012)

"Urbanism, McFarlane believes, needs a theory of learning;throughout his book he builds a very sophisticated one...[he]brings us closer to the material stuff of urban life andpolitics...a kind of urbanism in motion, whereby what we cometo term 'knowledge', 'infrastructure' and'resources' are never simply 'there', butmust be translated, distributed, coordinated, perceived andinhabited". (International Journal of Urban and RegionalResearch, Volume 38.1, January 2014)."Innovative in its approach and rigorous in its coverage, this bookis an important contribution to the field of urban studies andhuman geography. It challenges the standard format of the researchmonograph and introduces new vectors of knowledge and debate to thestudy of cities. In a world where the usual North-South dichotomiesare being disturbed, McFarlane's emphasis on a postcolonialapproach to practices of learning is a valuable framework."
--Ananya Roy, University of California

"McFarlane's work stands out in that it tells us how residentsfrom various walks of life actually learn to operate inheterogeneous and often volatile urban environments. Insteadof assuming that urban dwellers walk around with preconceived mapsin their heads, this book provides a comprehensive account of thevarious practices, mobilizations and tools they use over time sothat the city becomes a staging area for new capacities andpotentials."
--AbdouMaliq Simone, Goldsmith College, University ofLondon
Colin McFarlane is Lecturer in Human Geography at Durham University, UK. His research focuses on urban geography, especially theorising the intersections between urban inequality, materiality, and knowledge.

C. McFarlane, Durham University, UK