Making up Global Urban Policies [chapter]

Allan Cochrane
2012 The New Blackwell Companion to the City  
Towards Active Urban Materialities In the original Companion to the City there was a section of writings on city economies. In this new Companion some of those discussions are found here in Part I on materialities, and to some extent Part II on mobilities. That is not to say that considerations of economic activity in the city are any less central than they have always been but it is to say that ways of conceiving of economic activity and its relationships have shifted in interesting ways that
more » ... pen up new vistas in thinking about what cities are and how they fi t into broader economic processes across the globe. One of the areas of discussion that have expanded over the last ten years since the fi rst Companion is to do with ideas of materials and materiality. This in itself is not new. Marxist inspired analyses of the economy and what David Harvey called the urban process in capitalism have been established for 40 years or more. Historical materialism is one guiding framework that has informed the dominant strand of urban analysis of long -term trends as well as the particularities of city life in capitalism. Those insights were there when Marx was writing and can be seen in his collaborator Friedrich Engels ' s analysis of capitalist urbanization in Manchester and London in the mid -nineteenth century. In The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 (sections of which are edited in the sister volume to this Companion -The Blackwell City Reader 2nd edn) Engels identifi ed material qualities of the city that are now the focus of sustained analysis (although in slightly different ways). Engels went into close details of the material life of factory workers in east Manchester -the poor quality of their dwellings, their clothes, their employerprovided foodstuffs adulterated with non -food materials. Engels is also informed by Marx ' s arguments about how materials, commodities, are imbued with the wider The New Blackwell Companion to the City Edited by Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson
doi:10.1002/9781444395105.ch64 fatcat:7wq5wpmvlbe47alyycyiut6dui