New Urbanism Nov 4, 2013
Subject to earlier critiques of utopianism
Engels: need to change material conditions
The romance of ‘community’
New urbanism accepts the ideal of ‘community’ as it philosophical
Community- an alternative to the isolation… check PowerPoint
Community defined by:
A) a web of affect-laden relationships among individuals
B) commitment to a set of shared values, norms, and meanings and a shared
history and identity.
An idealized, often romanticized, imagined space of kinship and unity
between otherwise heterogeneous groups.
A political scale of shared commitments to morals, norms, and the public
‘Community’ is not without tis critics.
The discursive invocation of community has truth-effects (Foucault): its use
as a political frame has impacts on lives, landscapes and livelihoods.
Iris Marion Young (1990) reveals the violence of ‘community’. That you
always conclude and exclude some people and always defining who can be
apart and who can’t.
It is used to signify a “whole”, to efface internal differences, to create
boundaries between self and other, and to construct an imagined sharing of
ways of being in the world.
Community is a key site of social control and surveillance.
Deconstruct community’s all-to-easy association with romantic notions of
belonging and its ability to obscure the exclusionary social constriction of
Community as a “myth”, or imagined/ romance and fiction, it is something
created or made.
The “myth of community’ or what Miranda Joseph (2002) calls the “romance
“Community” acts to reinforce boundaries in ways that actually justify and
naturalize difference, exclude people from benefits of belonging.
Government now look to “community” as a solution to problems of anomie,
crime, and stagnant economies.
E.g. community policing, we target neighborhood and saw problem that’s
related to crime. Community and economic development. Again, before the
city was developed for economics, increasing breaking the big city and
develop them into different economic plans for neighborhood. Getting the
habitant and people to live in there to create the community. Establishing
partnership, this language of community is everywhere. Then why are we
turning to “community”?
Because community is seeing as a more intimate local scale, involving face to
face relations, interpersonal trust, collaboration. Nikolas Rose Powers of Freedom (1999) – growing emphasis on community
governance in an era of neoliberalism. To look after their citizen, target as
the city as a whole, we see massive of cutback, turning into the neoliberal
Adopted as a tool for invoking social responsibility and public involvement.
The individual need to take responsibility with his or her own crime and
community. Increasing emphasis on the third wave of governing.
He refers to this as a third way of governing, between the authority of the
state, the free and amoral exchange of the market with the liberty of
autonomous rights bearing individuals. Community is governing themselves.
City is becoming fragmented; each is governing themselves in increasing
rate. They make decisions and infrastructure themselves.
A response to cutbacks in Keynesian welfare state
‘Active citizen’. They will look after themselves and being responsible within
Social capital: the aggregate of actual or potential resources linked to the
possession of a durable network of relationships of mutual acquaintance and
Putnam (2000) social connections, reciprocity, trust, neighborhood
Most studies find that new urban communities have higher level of social
capital than traditional suburbs.
Cabrera (2013) study of Arizona-new urban communities 50% more social
But also found that this was due to the type of residents that selected this
community in the first place (e.g. more social/ community minded). Is to
foster greater social capital and increase the bond between inner
Community, exclusion and the new urbanism
The notions of community the new urbanism deploys are exclusionary
Claims to construct a truly democratic public sphere comprised
A) exclusionary in terms of race.
B) exclusionary in terms of class.
o Affordable housing option, but do we see this on the ground. Vast
majority of new urban projects are not affordable for the middle-
income group. Only 15% is affordable.
Compared to Markham as a whole: Cornell high proportion high-income
When they are included, low-income residents segregated.
Linked to class distinction
New middle class and professional class.
House part of symbolic capital-gives owners a sense of respectability,
New urbanism plays this role of establishing distinction for the massive new
Elite family environment
Differentiates new middle class from ordinary suburban residents New class habitus
Classified into taste and certain ways for walking. The new urbanism is a
new urban middle class habitus.
New urban interior aesthetics: Restoration hardware. The upper classes
have always distinguished themselves from the poor. They suggest that they
buy antiques. They always buy prestige or traditional type of products.
Harvey (2000): new ur