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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.

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A critical history of Singapore’s offshore islands
Creighton Connolly
Hamzah Muzaini

(Cornelius-Takahama and Loo, 2016 ). For planning purposes, Singapore’s offshore islands to the south are divided by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) into two clusters: the Southern Islands group and the Western Islands group. Singapore’s Southern Islands group comprises eight islands directly to the south of the mainland and the Western Islands group consists of seven islands

in Turning up the heat
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Nick Dunn

. Following its arc around the city centre, at ground level my feet follow a similar curve to the motorway above which brings me to the modernist views of UMIST. This complex of buildings and 44 Atmospheres their multilevelled access points is rapidly losing its power as the city’s ultimate statement in concrete and glass as the rapacious nature of urban redevelopment is quickly taking large chunks of it away. Dipping under the sinewy curve of Victory House (then Telecom House, now MacDonald Hotel) I arrive at Mayfield Depot. The former railway station, then parcels depot

in Manchester
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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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Spaces and spectres of Ireland after NAMA
Cian O’Callaghan

geographically by a series of urban renewal objectives that sought to regenerate dilapidated urban areas. The 1986 Urban Renewal Act put in place a number of tax incentives that were integral in kick-starting the Irish property market by allowing developers to claim back tax on income over a ten-year period; projects included several flagship urban redevelopments, initially in Dublin and later in other cities (MacLaran and McGuirk, 2001; Moore, 2008; O’Callaghan and Linehan, 2007). From 1998, the Pilot Rural Renewal Scheme for the Upper Shannon Region – a predominantly rural

in Spacing Ireland
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Marcos P. Dias

‘media consumption is increasingly occurring in public space’, as the built environment becomes an assemblage of mediated forms in the shape of signature buildings, the branding of ambitious urban redevelopments, and electronic displays covering the entire visible surface of buildings. Digital media accelerates the process of mediatising the city, by enabling convergence of media forms, intensifying relations between the different actants in the city (including citizens, built environment, media displays and transport and communication infrastructure networks) and

in The machinic city
Martín Arboleda

infrastructure, or through the expansion of credit via the mortgage system and other forms of personal debt (see Rehner and Rodríguez-Leiva, 2017 ; Rehner and Vergara, 2014 ; Vergara-Perucich, 2018 ). Also, it is estimated that the dramatic growth of transgenic soybean production in Argentina has metastasised into large-scale urban redevelopment projects and speculation, thereby

in Turning up the heat
Neil Brenner
Nikos Katsikis

of the capitalist world-system as involving a neat division among core, semi-peripheral, and peripheral zones. For a critique of the latter in the context of post-1980s patterns of geoeconomic restructuring, state rescaling, and urban redevelopment, see Brenner ( 1999 ). 7 Many intellectual

in Turning up the heat
A Toilet Revolution and its socio-eco-technical entanglements
Deljana Iossifova

-building, motivated a series of campaigns to abandon and replace the traditional night soil collection system over time. For instance, the State Council’s Patriotic Health Campaign in the 1950s led to the establishment of health campaign committees at all levels of governance to oversee its implementation (Yang, 2004 ). When China embarked on its journey to opening up and reforms in the late 1970s, the Patriotic Health Campaign was marginalised, and the focus shifted to rapid economic development. In line with the start of rapid urban redevelopment in the 1980s, a more integrated

in Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city
Małgorzata Jakimów

chapter focuses on the NGOs’ response to the material forms of that exclusion, and it therefore builds on Chapter 1 's discussion of municipal policies towards migrant workers in relation to urban redevelopment. By investigating acts of citizenship around the material remaking of the city, it reveals how the city can be transformed from ‘spaces of (citizenship) exclusion’ to ‘spaces of (citizenship) transformation’. A great part of this process is triggered by the desire to belong to the city, which stems from the migrants’ long-term residence in the urban environment

in China’s citizenship challenge