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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.

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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Private greed, political negligence and housing policy after Grenfell

As the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire of 14 June 2017 has slowly revealed a shadowy background of outsourcing and deregulation, and a council turning a blind eye to health and safety concerns, many questions need answers. Stuart Hodkinson has those answers. Safe as Houses weaves together Stuart’s research over the last decade with residents’ groups in council regeneration projects across London to provide the first comprehensive account of how Grenfell happened and how it could easily have happened in multiple locations across the country. It draws on examples of unsafe housing either refurbished or built by private companies under the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to show both the terrible human consequences of outsourcing and deregulation and how the PFI has enabled developers, banks and investors to profiteer from highly lucrative, taxpayer-funded contracts. The book also provides shocking testimonies of how councils and other public bodies have continuously sided with their private partners, doing everything in their power to ignore, deflect and even silence those who speak out. The book concludes that the only way to end the era of unsafe regeneration and housing provision is to end the disastrous regime of self-regulation. This means strengthening safety laws, creating new enforcement agencies independent of government and industry, and replacing PFI and similar models of outsourcing with a new model of public housing that treats the provision of shelter as ‘a social service’ democratically accountable to its residents.

Marcos P. Dias

Chapter 2 provides a detailed breakdown of the different components of A Machine To See With, categorising them as design, technology and city actants. The design actants are related to the process of planning, designing and producing the performance. This includes the locative cinema commission for the performance and the detailed production of each design component, including the narrative, the adaptation of the project to the local ‘stage’ (the city of Brighton) and the testing and promotion of the event. The analysis of the technology actants in the performance includes the infrastructure network mediating the event (including two computer servers located in different countries); the programming of the interface; the state machine, a custom piece of software that can be adapted to respond to prompts from users and computational devices. The user’s mobile phone is also discussed as a technology actant and as the point of contact between the main interface and the participant. The analysis of the city actants includes urban furniture and a BMW car that was part of a key exchange in the performance (the partnering up of participants unknown to each other). This chapter ends with a description of how the fictional narrative of the performance was successful in drawing bystanders into the performance. This is illustrated through several accounts provided by participants.

in The machinic city
Open Access (free)
Urban transformation and public health in future cities
Michael Keith and Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos

Social scientists, data scientists, epidemiologists, zoologists and other scholars have delved into the co-variables of class, transport patterns, housing conditions, age, migration, nutrition, climate change and sanitation as well as access to health centres to determine the probability, duration and extent of disease outbreaks. Such studies have shown that the separation of the body from what surrounds it, ‘the flesh’ from ‘the stone’, is of little help if one shapes the other. With most of the world’s population now living in cities, this chapter discusses healthy living in changing metropolises. We consider in this chapter how cities may circumscribe access to health centres, the factors that determine housing choices and how these in turn may determine health outcomes. We also consider how individuals and communities may reshape cities recursively, all too often meaning that urban health is not only a study that intertwines people and space, but also does so under a temporal matrix. Historical legacies and path dependencies, migration, adaptation and change are thus conceptualised and discussed when the ethics, the access, the definitions and the transformations of public health initiatives and the demands of the twenty-first century are examined.

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
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Jenna C. Ashton

her archive. But we must be wary of the tricks played on us by the archive. We can be seduced by artefacts and read into them what we will (I frequently am and probably do so too often). Symbolically, these two pieces perhaps signify something of greater importance – the lack of evidence around refugee, exile and émigré communities and individuals in Manchester. Alice’s story – her voice as a British-Russian, is frustratingly absent. Hers is a lived experience of movement and adaptation between two international contexts connected by the insatiable global need for

in Manchester
Mark Pelling, Alejandro Barcena, Hayley Leck, Ibidun Adelekan, David Dodman, Hamadou Issaka, Cassidy Johnson, Mtafu Manda, Blessing Mberu, Ezebunwa Nwokocha, Emmanuel Osuteye, and Soumana Boubacar

reduction provide a strong foundation for transformative urban development and adaptation, which also necessarily entails ‘effective multi-level urban risk governance, alignment of policies and incentives, strengthened local government and community adaptation capacity, synergies with the private sector and appropriate financing and institutional development’. These issues are explored here through the application of our conceptual framework presented in Figure 3.1 . It investigates key constraints to achieving this in practice but also highlights

in African cities and collaborative futures
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Paul Dobraszczyk

authentic architectural identity. Indeed, it could be argued that nearly all Tudor buildings that survive are ‘Mock’ Tudor, bastardised by centuries of adaptation. And even those buildings that are seemingly irrevocably lost – like Hulme Hall, which was demolished in 1840 to make way for the Bridgewater Canal – live on in other ways: the building’s fifteenthcentury carved oak panels were saved and rehoused in Worsley Old Hall, later to be transferred to the new home of the local landowners, the Egerton family. Back in 1972, when Hough Hall was scheduled for demolition

in Manchester
Nikolas Rose

of Walter Cannon, researchers used animal models to understand the biology of stress, and Hans Selye announced his ‘general adaptation syndrome’: whatever the cause of stress in his rats – heat, cold, injections of noxious substances, etc. – the biological response was the same: stimulation of the adrenal glands to prepare the animal for ‘fight or flight’ (Selye, 1936 ). And when this stress response was prolonged in situations where the animal was unable to escape, this led to all manner of physical and behavioural pathologies. This work was taken up in

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Louise Amoore

essential corporate strategy for a global era (Atkinson, 1985; Reich, 1991) and that workers must accept greater risk and insecurity as they ‘make the leap’ to new practices. Transformative forces The proponents of the industrial society thesis identified exogenous factors as the central driving forces of industrialisation. A society is driven into adaptation by the challenges that exist ‘on the outside’ or ‘by the exigencies of the situation Amoore_Global_02_Ch1 15 6/19/02, 12:06 PM Globalisation contested 16 external to it’ (Parsons, 1960: 138). Viewed in this

in Globalisation contested