Delineating the Urban: The Global City and the Logics of Dissolution

Jarrad Keyes
2007 Transtext(e)s Transcultures Journal of Global Cultural Studies  
This paper analyzes the recent critical interest in the global city, and assesses the significance of what it calls the city-urban transaction. This latter term refers to a tendency amongst recent approaches to offset waning city definition the rise of the urban, and lament the former in the name of the latter. The point of departure for this reading concerns the relationship between models of development and the often disparaging figuration of the urban. It rejects the technological
more » ... of William Mitchell and Pierre Lévy, and the idealism of Manuel Castells, to suggest that, whilst the urban engenders the dissolution of orthodox accounts of the city, it does not entail a correlative sense of ontological degradation. In rejecting the negative, amorphous connotations frequently thrust upon the urban, the paper concludes with a reading of John King's fiction so as to provide a tentative sketch of the logics of dissolution as seen in a positive light. «Each city receives its form from the desert it opposes» 1 «Compact cities are at the other end of the pole from urban sprawl» 2 «[I]n great leprous stains, the suburbs spread out from the outlying districts, polluting the countryside and reducing the outskirts of the town to a miserable and shifting shabbiness» 3
doi:10.4000/transtexts.145 fatcat:ox27xenuqbhshlgtbkm4ylexem