Boutros and Straw have drawn together an impressive number of scholars who take as their objects of exploration how processes of circulation, including language, diasporic communities, and second-hand goods, can be seen to typify the urban milieu. “Immigration and deportation, tourism, cultural practices like raves, the movement of commodities through the city, the transmission of wireless signals, the cacophony of language in the city streets,” (p. 10) all represent the myriad ingredients that constitute the urban admixture. In examining these diverse processes, Circulation and the City is a significant contribution to what might be regarded as the study of the temporarily durable and the permanently ineffable qualities of cultural life in the city. What the editors describe as the “ontological” (p. 20) quality of the urban environs makes for a truly riveting account of how we are situated within both familiar and unfamiliar spaces of interaction and change.
1) Population size: creates great diversity because large numbers of people coming together logically increase potential differentiation among themselves, and with migration of diverse groups to city; creates need for formal control structures, e.g. legal systems; supports proliferation of further complex division of labour specialization; organizes human relationships on interest-specific basis, i.e. "social segmentalization", where secondary relationships are primary, in essence urban ties are relationships of utility; creates possibility of disorganization and disintegration
Formed in 1970, the urban community of Québec City includes 13 municipalities on the north shore and is responsible for planning, public transit (STCUQ), property assessment, and industrial and promotion. In 2001, as part of a large-scale project to amalgamate municipalities (often referred to as the “forced amalgamation” project), the municipalities of the urban community were joined together to form the new city of Québec. In 2004, a vote was held on de-amalgamation: the new city lost and but otherwise remained intact.
Suggested that cities are linked to larger processes, e.g. economic or political orientations, instead of city itself being cause of distinguishing qualities of urban life, i.e. different cultural and historical conditions will result in different types of cities, same as with Marx & Engels who argued that human condition of cities was result of economic structure
Considered importance of urban experience, i.e. chose to focus on urbanism (life within the city) rather than urbanization (development of urban areas), "The Metropolis and Mental Life" is an essay detailing his views on life in the city, focusing more on social psychology
A third view regarding rural and urban communities has been given by Pocock who believe that both village and city are elements of the same civilization and hence neither rural urban dichotomy, nor continuum is meaningful. M.S.A. Rao points out in the Indian context that although both village and town formed part of the same civilization characterized by institution of kinship and caste system in pre-British India, there were certain specific institutional forms and organizational ways distinguishing social and cultural life in towns form that in village. Thus, according to Rao, Rural Urban continuum makes more sense
Maclver remarks that though the communities are normally divided into rural and urban the line of demarcation is not always clear between these two types of communities. There is no sharp demarcation to tell where the city ends and country begins. Every village possesses some elements of the city and every city carries some features of the village.
Weber rejects cities governed by religious groups or where the authority is enforced on personal rather than universalistic basis. He recounts a process in which the development of the rational-legal institutions that characterize the modern city enabled the individual to be free from the traditional groups and therefore develop his individuality. He emphasizes the closure, autonomy and separateness of the urban community and stressed that the historical peculiarities of the medieval city were due to the location of the city with in the total medieval political and social organization.
The University of Chicago: University of Chicago is the origin of Urban Sociology in the United States. The Urban Environment surrounding the University provided the perfect laboratory for scholars like Robert Park and Ernest Burgess to study the city.
What type of relationship do you have with your urban environment? When it comes to my own, I would have to say it is marked by a certain feel, an affection. I experience a sense of place that is both familiar and navigable, but also a space that is infused with excruciating disappointments and serendipitous encounters. Most days I make a long trek to campus, or to the bookstore where I work, or for coffee somewhere. I see the same people every day. The same sites. I make my life here within the fabricated and improvised spaces of streets, surveillant apparatuses, and emotionally resonant neighbourhoods. What would it mean to treat my daily perambulations around this city as so many calculated responses to a central problematic: the idea of more or less normal or abnormal disposition of individuals, relationships, and concepts? How are we affected by and, in turn, how do we affect our experience of lived environments?
Manuel Castells, born in Spain in 1942, is Professor ofCity and Regional Planning at the University of California,Berkeley, where he was appointed in 1979. In the 1970s he directedthe seminar on urban sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes enSciences Sociales, Paris. He has also been a visiting professor ofurban planning at the Universidad Católica de Chile, Ecoled'Architecture de l'Université de Genève, the RoyalDanish Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Hong Kong, and theUniversity of Southern California. Among other awards, he hasreceived the Silver Medal in Urbanism from the City of Madrid in1999 and the 2001 Kevin Lynch Award in Urban Design and Planningfrom the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1998 he acceptedthe Robert and Helen Lynd Award from the American SociologicalAssociation for his life-long contribution to urban sociology.
This is the problematic that a wonderful new book, Circulation and the City: Essays on Urban Culture, adopts to great effect. Alexandra Boutros and Will Straw have assembled a rich collection of essays that approaches the question of circulation as a crucial corollary to exuberant declarations of how spatial and conceptual developments have transformed our lives in the twenty-first century. As Boutros and Straw insist,