Author Meets Their Critics: Unequal Cities. the Challenge of Post-Industrial Transition in Times of Austerity
Presentation of the Book: Unequal Cities. The challenge of post-industrial transition in times of austerity, Edited by Roberta Cucca and Costanzo Ranci. Routledge, 2017.
This seminal edited collection examines the impact of austerity and economic crisis on European cities. Whilst on the one hand the struggle for competitiveness has induced many European cities to invest in economic performance and attractiveness, on the other, national expenditure cuts and dominant neo-liberal paradigms have led many to retrench public intervention aimed at preserving social protection and inclusion. The impact of these transformations on social and spatial inequalities – whether occupational structures, housing solutions or working conditions – as well as on urban policy addressing these issues is traced in this piece of comparative analysis grounded in original research.
The book links existing theories and debates with newer discussions on the crisis to develop a typology of possible orientations of local government towards economic development and social cohesion. In the process, it describes the challenges and tensions facing six large European cities, representative of a variety of welfare regimes in Western Europe: Barcelona, Copenhagen, Lyon, Manchester, Milan, and Munich. It seeks to answer such key questions as:
- What social groups are most affected by recent urban transformations and what are the social and spatial impacts?
- What are the main institutional factors influencing how cities have dealt with the challenges facing them?
- How have local political agendas articulated the issues and what influence is still exerted by national policy?