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This book explores contemporary urban experiences connected to practices of sharing and collaboration. Part of a growing discussion on the cultural meaning and the politics of urban commons, it uses examples from Europe and Latin America to support the view that a world of mutual support and urban solidarity is emerging today in, against, and beyond existing societies of inequality. In such a world, people experience the potentialities of emancipation activated by concrete forms of space commoning. By focusing on concrete collective experiences of urban space appropriation and participatory design experiments this book traces differing, but potentially compatible, trajectories through which common space (or space-as-commons) becomes an important factor in social change. In the everydayness of self-organized neighborhoods, in the struggles for justice in occupied public spaces, in the emergence of “territories in resistance,” and in dissident artistic practices of collaborative creation, collective inventiveness produces fragments of an emancipated society.

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Something rich and strange

Manchester: Something rich and strange challenges us to see the quintessential post-industrial city in new ways. Bringing together twenty-three diverse writers and a wide range of photographs of Greater Manchester, it argues that how we see the city can have a powerful effect on its future – an urgent question given how quickly the urban core is being transformed. The book uses sixty different words to speak about the diversity of what we think of as Manchester – whether the chimneys of its old mills, the cobbles mostly hidden under the tarmac, the passages between terraces, or the everyday act of washing clothes in a laundrette. Unashamedly down to earth in its focus, this book makes the case for a renewed imaginative relationship that recognises and champions the fact that we’re all active in the making and unmaking of urban spaces.

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Becky Alexis-Martin

Manchester: Something rich and strange Radium – Becky Alexis-Martin Nestled between carefully conserved cotton mills and glimmering new developments in Ancoats is a little road named Radium Street. It is unusual for any place to be named after a radioactive element, beyond the confines of military ‘closed cities’ where nuclear weapons are manufactured. Radium Street was originally called German Street, after a German toy importer’s warehouse that was located in the area. The street was renamed after the First World War to conceal its Teutonic heritage, and to

in Manchester
Ethnic minorities and localities in China’s border encounters with Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam
Victor Konrad and Zhiding Hu

evolving borderlands has led us to examine the length and breadth of Yunnan border regions and venture into adjacent parts of Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar. This empirical work, conducted over the past five years, includes detailed observation and documentation of regional infrastructure, processes and places, and interviews with hundreds of local residents, ethnic minorities, business people, government representatives at local, regional and national levels, military and cross-border migrants. The information gathered has been assessed and analysed for several research

in Border images, border narratives
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Imagin(in)g the materiality of digital networks
Holger Pötzsch

subsequent popularisation of digital networking technologies, first and foremost the transition from the military ARPA and DARPA nets, built with the objective of sustaining communication in the case of a nuclear attack, to the contemporary Internet (see for instance Galloway, 2004 ; Abbate, 2000 ). The following rapid technological developments engendered changes and new dynamics also at societal, economic and eventually political levels that quickly attracted activists, hackers and entrepreneurs. John Perry Barlow was among the first to fathom the

in Border images, border narratives
Luiz Eduardo Soares

and gang violence in the favelas; how the arbitrary violence of ‘pacification’ of favelas masked an entrenchment rather than a solution to the powers of informally governed parts of the city where those with guns ruled. It is a story that contains both surreal humour and understated bravery. In Extreme city Soares narrates how his lifetime of political engagement dating back to the fights against the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964–85) informed his links to Lula’s Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT, or Workers’ Party) and led him to the years of qualified

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Trevor Barnes

work on a nuclear-war atlas that warned against the ultimate catastrophe, atomic Armageddon, the end of human life as we know it. Bill Bunge, spatial science and map transformations Bunge’s first exposure to formal geographical talk was in 1951. Conscripted for the Korean War, serving in the American Fifth Army, deployed at the Chemical, Biological and Radiological Wartime School at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, Bunge (1988 , xi) taught there what he later called ‘atomic war’. It was also while he was enlisted in the US military that he enrolled in his first class in

in The power of pragmatism
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Marcos P. Dias

machinic city as an assemblage of human and non-human actants draws from Lewis Mumford’s ( 2014 ) conceptualisation of the megamachine as a collective machine. Mentioning the Great Pyramid of Giza as an example of a megamachine, Mumford ( 2014 : 385) states: ‘By operating as a single mechanical unit of specialized, subdivided, interlocking parts, the one hundred thousand men who worked on that pyramid could generate ten thousand horsepower.’ This collective machine’s efficiency was enabled ‘by a combination of divine command and ruthless military coercion [where] a large

in The machinic city
Art and the temporalities of geomedia
Gavin MacDonald

from above as more or less a single colour were also places that were contested, fragile, and subjected to an increasingly thorough surveillance apparatus’ (Kurgan, 2013: 153). All the locations were environmentally or politically sensitive, and for the colour yellow a chance encounter was captured that helps to locate the image in geopolitical time: crawling bug-like over the monochrome expanse of a section of the Iraqi desert, two weeks into Operation Iraqi Freedom, two military helicopters can be seen (Figure 6.2).11 The artist Mishka Henner has captured a more

in Time for mapping
Jenny Pickerill

CMC to facilitate the co-ordination of several groups for one action can result in the integration of several different tactics and an increasing number of participants. The roles of CMC in the co-ordination could be vital, enabling disparate groups Electronic tactics and alternative media 131 to communicate across distance and ideology with the mutual aim of disturbance to a target. However, without the discipline and the hierarchical chain of command of military units, the co-ordination of several groups can be problematical. It can be difficult to achieve

in Cyberprotest