In the midst of what has been termed the ‘urban age’, two divergent approaches to understanding life in cities have emerged. In this first of three urban geography progress reports, I engage these two strands of urban theory, identifying key differences in their intellectual, political and geographical genealogies, and consider their political and epistemological implications. Borrowing from Chakrabarty’s concept of History 1 and History 2, I name these approaches ‘Urbanization 1’ and ‘Urbanization 2’. Urbanization 1 is exemplified by the planetary urbanization thesis that posits the complete urbanization of society, whereas Urbanization 2 is characterized by a more diverse set of interventions, united by a political and epistemological strategy of refusing Eurocentrism and ‘provincializing’ urban theory.
- planetary urbanization
- subaltern urbanism