The Urban Question: toward a framework for analysis

Dear and A.J. Scott, “The Urban Question: toward a framework for analysis” in M. Dear and A.J. Scott (eds.) Urbanization and Urban Planning in Capitalist Society, 1981, 3-16.


[Excerpt] Let us begin with this simple proposition: neither urbanization in general,nor urban planning in particular, constitute independent, self-determinate
occurrences. On the contrary, they are social events, embedded within society,
and deriving their logic and historical meaning from the general pattern of society as a whole. These assertions, of course, provide no clues as to the nature of this general pattern. Nor do they (as yet) yield any insights into the ways in which this pattern is mediated and re-ordered by the specific processes of urbanization and planning. What they do affirm, however, is the self-evident (though, in practice, widely overlooked) notion that urbanization and planning can never be effectively treated as objects of theoretical study divorced from some wider theory of society.

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