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Global Cities and Global Order$
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Simon Curtis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744016

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744016.001.0001

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Mutations in Urban Form

Mutations in Urban Form

(p.31) 1 Mutations in Urban Form
Global Cities and Global Order

Simon Curtis

Oxford University Press

This chapter develops a conceptual framework that allows us to identify the historical specificity of the ‘global city’. In particular, it brings out the important linkages between ideational and material explanations of city form, arguing that both are inevitably entwined in any full understanding of urban life. It adopts a conceptual device from the critical urban geographer Edward Soja—cityspace—which enables us to distinguish between historically distinctive forms of urban life by way of the social structures that gave shape to them. Soja argues that just a handful of fundamental urban forms have been etched into the historical record. The distinctive form of the global city may be the latest of these epoch-defining urban forms. The chapter then goes on to look at the historically specific features of global city morphology.

Keywords:   global city, urban form, cityspace, social structure, Edward Soja

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