Urban geography I: Locating urban theory in the ‘urban age’

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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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-657
Number of pages11
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 30 2015


  • planetary urbanization
  • provincializing
  • subaltern urbanism
  • urbanization

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