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New Urban SpacesUrban Theory and the Scale Question$
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Neil Brenner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190627188

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190627188.001.0001

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Restructuring, Rescaling, and the Urban Question

Restructuring, Rescaling, and the Urban Question

(p.87) 3 Restructuring, Rescaling, and the Urban Question
New Urban Spaces

Neil Brenner

Oxford University Press

Since the 1990s, the scalar dimensions of global urban restructuring have been reflexively explored within several major streams of critical urban studies. Against the background of earlier rounds of debate on the shifting spatialities of the urban question, this chapter offers a critical evaluation of these recent scalar turns. What is the theoretical specificity of a scalar approach to urban restructuring? A relatively narrow, but analytically precise, definitional proposal is put forward through a series of theoretical, epistemological, and methodological propositions. This approach aims to destabilize methodologically localist, city-centric understandings of the urban while also distinguishing processes of scalar structuration from other key dimensions of sociospatial relations related to place-making, territorialization, and networking. This relatively abstract definitional foray is the first of several efforts in this book to demarcate the proper conceptual parameters—and limits—of scale in relation to specific terrains of urban studies.

Keywords:   urban question, urban restructuring, scale, rescaling, place-making, territorialization, networking, city-centrism

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