Introduction
The articulated skeleton
in Remaking the urban
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The introduction provides a theoretical framework for the book’s examination of the intersection between public memory, public space and urban transformation. In South Africa, as elsewhere, the politics of memory are inherently spatialised, both through physical traces in landscapes and through the structure and layout of urban and public spaces. The introductory chapter makes a case for the inherent intertwining of twenty-first-century spatial transformation in cities, and the transformation (and contestation) of the politics of public memory. Through this discussion, the introduction outlines the ways in which the city can be read as a form of archive, and how this reading is helpful for understanding public memory’s appearances and disappearances in urban public space. This chapter also makes the case for the study of these questions in the context of this particular post-apartheid city in the twenty-first century, and provides the rationale for Nelson Mandela Bay as an appropriate site through which to examine these questions and their broader continental and global relevance. It positions the city’s recent history in the context of South African and global politics, and argues for the value of examining and understanding this period through the lens of public memory and urban transformation.

Remaking the urban

Heritage and transformation in Nelson Mandela Bay

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