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Examining ‘cityness’ to inform an urban theory of the ‘global South’

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

An urban theory of the ‘global south’ rejects the northern experience of urbanisation
as the primary articulation of global urbanism and promotes the development of new
paradigms and methodologies for the study of southern urbanism. Emerging
theories on southern urbanism destabilise and decentre geographies of knowledge
by ‘provincializing’ hegemonic urban theory. Cities across the ‘global south’ are
developing in ways that challenge predominant theories and models of urban policy
and planning. Therefore, the task we face is to develop a methodological repertoire
to better understand the emergence of new place-making politics. To this end, the
aims of this study are i) to challenge urban theory by identifying lacunas in analyses
of southern urbanism; ii) to elaborate, trial and evaluate a research agenda built
around ‘cityness’ to inform an urban theory of the ‘global south.’ The methodology
is structured around an examination of the masterplans of the case study city (Dakar,
Senegal) and a field-based analysis of (two) spaces in the city. By working with scale,
the analysis arrives at a better understanding of ‘cityness’ and the various forces
shaping the urban fabric of the city.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Oct 2019


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