Blog post

BldgBlog on Stephen Graham's Cities Under Siege

Clara Heyworth11 April 2010

Geoff Manaugh has reviewed Stephen Graham's Cities Under Siege for BldgBlog, discussing the new book in relation to Mike Davis' Planet of Slums.

As Mike Davis wrote in Planet of Slums, "the cities of the future, rather than being made out of glass and steel as envisioned by earlier generations of urbanists, are instead largely constructed out of crude brick, straw, recycled plastic, cement blocks, and scrap wood. Instead of cities of light soaring toward heaven, much of the twenty-first-century urban world squats in squalor, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay."

But feral cities are one thing, cities under siege are something else.

Stephen Graham explores "the extension of military ideas of tracking, identification and targeting into the quotidian spaces and circulations of everyday life," including "dramatic attempts to translate long-standing military dreams of high-tech omniscience and rationality into the governance of urban civil society." This is just part of a "deepening crossover between urbanism and militarism," one that will only become more pronounced, Graham fears, over time.

Visit BldgBlog to read the review in full.

Filed under: reviews