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Alex Schafran, Matthew Noah Smith, and Stephen Hall

, then I cannot walk down the road anyway. When it comes to reliance systems, people are free not only because of an absence of laws or customs or rules or armed guards obstructing them, but because of the presence of a specific reliance system. In order to have the capacity to walk down the road, there needs to be a road. In this chapter we first expand upon the philosophical foundations of this more material or active understanding of freedom, an understanding that owes the deepest debt to the capabilities approach developed by Amartya Sen, Martha

in The spatial contract
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Imagin(in)g the materiality of digital networks
Holger Pötzsch

extending the ‘capillary reach of the state’ (Pugliese, 2013 : 26) into every inch of a previously protected private sphere? To respond to such questions, this chapter will firstly revisit debates on the political implication of global networks. Highlighting the inherent materiality of digital technologies, I question and challenge discourses postulating liberating and empowering potentials of the Internet and argue for continuities rather than ruptures in transitions to contemporary network societies. Secondly, I use the example of cloud computing to relate this

in Border images, border narratives
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Tim Edensor

Midlands generated a huge increase in stone quarrying as rural localities sought to supply the building material that was essential for this vast urban development. The use of better, easier-to-work, cheap and more durable stone was now accessible and heralded the start of a process whereby Manchester 87 Manchester: Something rich and strange would be constituted out of stony material from further afield. More resilient stone was first sourced from nearby Derbyshire following the opening of the Peak Forest Canal in 1796, and in the same year, the Peak Forest Tramway

in Manchester
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Morag Rose

in the Mancunian rain. Our city is wonderful and made for more than shopping. The streets belong to everyone and we want to reclaim them for play and revolutionary fun.’ On the first Sunday of every month we embark on some form of exploration or creative mischief. Events are free and open to everyone – readers are very welcome to join us. 3 It’s material too, of course. As well as harassment, architecture and design can limit our freedom to walk in space too. There are issues around tactile paving, potholes, lack of public toilets, privatisation of space etc

in Manchester
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Tim Edensor

setts derive from multiple locations.5 They exemplify how the city is continuously assembled out of materials from elsewhere, and testify to numerous historical 64  (Previous page) Cobbles, Jutland Street, near Piccadilly 246 Secrets connections with sites of supply. Unlike cities with extensive, highquality supplies found within the city boundaries, most of the setts that line Manchester’s streets are made of Pennine gritstones and coarse-grained sandstones. These stones possess a high proportion of quartz, making them resistant to weathering and less susceptible

in Manchester
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Sean R. Mills

instantly start to construct a coded message: Where is the indentation? How is it moving across the skin? What are the properties of the vibration it’s causing? Each tiny bump and ridge in the material – a piece of wood, fabric, glass – induces a corresponding change in the properties of the vibration. The signals travel quickly to your brain. They are picked apart and processed and reconstructed by layer upon layer of computation. Neural codes of dazzling complexity quickly become the quanta of textures – the ‘feel’ of wood, paper, glass, plastic, concrete, brick and

in Manchester
Małgorzata Jakimów

‘safety’. Yet, this ‘clean-up’ of migrant workers continued a process of gentrification and expulsion initiated much earlier by the municipal governments: it was simply the most recent event in the chain of the Beijing authorities’ decisions to further the long-standing plan of turning the capital into a global city with no place for low-income population. The demolition of urban villages in Daxing is just one example of how citizenship exclusion manifests not only discursively, but also materially, in migrant workers’ experience of urban China. This

in China’s citizenship challenge
Labour NGOs and the struggle for migrant workers’ rights

In twenty-first-century Chinese cities there are hundreds of millions of rural migrants who are living temporary lives, suspended between urban and rural China. They are the unsung heroes of the country’s ‘economic miracle’, yet are regarded as second-class citizens in both a cultural, material and legal sense. China’s citizenship challenge tells the story of how civic organisations set up by some of these rural migrants challenge this citizenship marginalisation. The book argues that in order to effectively address the problems faced by migrant workers, these NGOs must undertake ‘citizenship challenge’: the transformation of migrant workers’ social and political participation in public life, the broadening of their access to labour and other rights, and the reinvention of their relationship to the city. By framing the NGOs’ activism in terms of citizenship rather than class struggle, this book offers a valuable contribution to the field of labour movement studies in China. The monograph also proves exceptionally timely in the context of the state’s repression of these organisations in recent years, which, as the book explores, was largely driven by their citizenship-altering activism.

Urban platforms and metropolitan logistics

African cities and collaborative futures: Urban platforms and metropolitan logistics brings together scholars from across the globe to discuss the nature of African cities – the interactions of residents with infrastructure, energy, housing, safety and sustainability, seen through local narratives and theories. This groundbreaking collection, drawing on a variety of fields and extensive first-hand research, offers a fresh perspective on some of the most pressing issues confronting urban Africa in the twenty-first century. Each of the chapters, using case studies from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania, explores how the rapid growth of African cities is reconfiguring the relationship between urban social life and its built forms. While the most visible transformations in cities today can be seen as infrastructural, these manifestations are cultural as well as material, reflecting the different ways in which the city is rationalised, economised and governed. How can we ‘see like a city’ in twenty-first-century Africa, understanding the urban present to shape its future? This is the central question posed throughout this volume, with a practical focus on how academics, local decision-makers and international practitioners can work together to achieve better outcomes.

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Place, society and culture in a post-boom era

Ireland is a turbulent place. This book engages readers with the contours of transformation of Irish society through a series of distinct episodes and sites where change can be confronted. The content of the book intersects with the boom and bust themes to explore the economic and social implications of the recession. The processes are as diverse as cross-border development, farming knowledges, food movements, and the evolution of traditional Irish music. The modernisation of Irish society during the Celtic Tiger and its subsequent demise was a 'spatial drama' involving transformation in the material landscape and the imaginative representation of the island. The first part of the book explores the revolving intersections of identity politics with place. It tracks the discovery of the ghost estate and the ways in which it has been implicated in debates about the Irish economic crash, complicating ideas of home and community. After a discussion on immigration, the book discusses the role of migrants in filling labour and skill shortages. The second part pays attention to questions of mobility and consumption in urban and rural contexts. The new Irish motorway network, free time, leisure and holidaying in the lives of lone parents during the Celtic Tiger, and the role of National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) are discussed. The third part explores diverse cultural practices and some longstanding representations of Ireland. An autobiographical tour of the pub session, National Geographic's representations of Irish landscape and the current Irish imagination are the key concepts of this part.