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Professor Michele Acuto

Michele is the Director of the Melbourne Centre for Cities, Professor in Urban Politics and Associate Dean of Research in the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning at the University of Melbourne.

Caitlin Morrissey

So Michele, in your sense, can cities have DNA? And if they do, is it literal, or is it better understood as a metaphor?


Michele Acuto

Yeah, I thought it was a very interesting question because it got me spiralling into a whole bunch of pseudoscientific metaphors, and I am not a hard scientist. If anything I'm a lawyer, so that's as far as it could go from a scientist. So my gut reaction was they probably do have some form of, I guess, genetic code, if that's what you're trying to go with in terms of the DNA. I might match this with something that you had asked in another question, but it made me wonder if they have "a DNA" the same way that a human or an animal or plant has a DNA, as in has one genetic code and you can get to that – so, you know, the fingerprint or whatever crime scene parallel you want to do – and you find the individual. It got me wondering if there's multiple DNAs built into a city, and if in that sense it stands up, but not literally stands up, as a metaphor and something that allows you to play with the idea of the genetic code of the city or the urban underneath the city.


Caitlin Morrissey

And so when you were thinking about it, what sort of traits might constitute this genetic code, and if there are multiple types of genetic codes, what might they be? How might that differ from a city just having one?


Michele Acuto

Yeah, so what I was thinking there was there's certainly something, and it made me think back to a book that David Bell Avner de-Shalit did, it was called The Spirit of Cities. So their argument there was you can feel a sort of spirit, an ethos of certain cities. They have a funny mix in there, perhaps a bit different from yours, but similar things. Oxford as a city that can't be separated from the spirit of the academe and that type of academe and so forth.


So it made me think that certainly there is something there. The cities that I'm familiar with, you can grasp on certain characteristics that make them a bit similar to other cities, but slightly different, and that, it really works as a as a metaphor. So say the three ones that I work on, so Sydney, Singapore and Dubai, they all, for instance, have a similar trait in their, I guess, genetic code, that they are colonial outposts, that they are, I guess, gateways for different worlds and different spaces.


And when I was thinking through your questions. I thought, well, that's probably the same for most cities. There's plenty of books from Lewis Mumford to Peter Hall that say, yes, there's similar things in most cities. Most cities come up as a marketplace, as a meeting point, as a gateway to something. Most cities, I would argue they probably come up as some form of polity, some sort of organised political community. Not everything looks like Athens, but there's some sort of organising of the marketplace that comes up.


But I thought one interesting thing is then that perhaps different from the DNA metaphor is that one of the best definitions that I find of city for me is still Doreen Massey calling a city "an open intensity". So something intense and dense enough in the geography of humanity that you can find it, but not close enough that that's it. So it only exists in relation to something else. So in a sense, there, for instance, a genetic trait would be the fact that it doesn't end, that it has connectivity to other things and its life, is dependent on other things.


Obviously, I'm biased on that because I work on networks of cities and connectivities of cities, but I find it very hard to think about the existence of a Sydney, Dubai, Singapore, London, you name it, New York and so forth, without assuming that the life of those places is interdependent to other places.


Greg Clark

I was going to ask Michele just to pursue this idea again then, so if multiple cities are networked with and interdependent with other cities, is it that these cities individually have a DNA or are they sharing some kind of urban DNA that defines what all cities are?


Michele Acuto

Yeah, that's a great one, Greg, actually, because partly then that's what the not wanting fully to go with the metaphor made me go a bit, perhaps too academic, but I guess the 2010s, at least in urban studies, meaning the academic conversational cities, have been really dominated by the planetary urbanisation debate. And essentially what that says is that we got too stuck onto cities and that, in fact, we should be thinking about is urban processes. Then they take it all the way further and to say, look, there's nothing that isn't affected by the urban and the idea of the city, sure, maybe stands, but not so much. You should be thinking about the connectivity and the geography of those processes.


So perhaps maybe there's a DNA of urbanisation in itself. That could be an interesting sort of metaphor that one could use and say there's some really common traits. I think something interesting, if that's the line that one wants to pursue, is that that would necessarily make you think in a cosmopolitan way, I guess. And I'm using it sort of ethically and positively and saying then it would really point at the fact that we're are intertwined with what's happening in India or on the outskirts of Europe and China. And we just cannot think about our cities and urbanisation without thinking about the connections between those things.


And I would argue – and I don't know if you want the COVID thing or not, but I would argue that in a time of a pandemic that really stands out, in the sense that the behaviour of the urban and urban processes is so fundamentally affected by processes in places so far away that people perhaps didn't even know about. So there's definitely something in there about perhaps the DNA of urbanisation being a fundamentally networked and connected DNA.


Greg Clark

So just to pursue this, and I realise there's the risk of being simplistic, but it's useful anyway, if there is a DNA of urbanization, what would be the key strands that you would say are essential to note in that?


Michele Acuto

I think an inherent scientific thing about DNA is that DNA, the fundamental property of DNA, replicates itself. And it can make copies of itself, and that's how it continues life as we know it. So it's hereditary material for the maintenance of life. And I think the interesting thing there is perhaps that there are some key features there that are perhaps more favourable to some than others, so a key component of whether it's the DNA of cities or the DNA of urbanisation is the fact that urbanisation or cities are constructed relatively unequally and by someone and for someone. There's a lot to be said about the inbuilt user of the city or the inbuilt audience for which a city is built. And I think it sounds very esoteric, but in a sense, it is very much about the idea that urbanisation is constructed partly, and cities are constructed partly, by markets, and markets are not practically equal means of distribution of things. So there's something fundamental there about the fact that perhaps in the DNA of cities, there's something unequal that that fundamentally asks us to redress it. So our DNA is slightly wrong by default, in a sense.


Greg Clark

And again, just to ask you to be quite simplistic, if you were then to describe, OK, in the formation of these cities, this market process or these users or these creators, what are the common things that are created in all cities?


Michele Acuto

I think even further, in all urban areas or urban aggregations, so not just cities, but towns and mega cities and so forth, irrespective of the scale, you'd probably have a dimension of agglomeration of people and infrastructure, some agglomeration of, if not market forces, economic forces and political forces and cultural forces, migration in itself. So the mobility of people that come together, I think that that stands the test of scale, that it doesn't actually matter whether you're talking about a town like where I currently am that has two thousand people or Greater Melbourne with multi-million people. The logic is still the same. It is that of the coming together of multiple forces. And so in a sense, they're forced against each other at times as well.


Greg Clark

Great, very helpful, Michele. Caitlin, with your blessing, I'm going to ask Michele two more questions. Is that OK? Right, good. So, Michele, I want to take you back to a point you made a couple of minutes ago about the similarities between Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, being that they are all sort of former colonial cities. I'd just like you to speak, if you don't mind, for a little bit about what is the common DNA, as you see it, of cities that have been colonies or have been parts of the empires of other cities and nations. What is it that they have in common?


Michele Acuto

Well, those three, first and foremost, have a specific empire in common, and certainly there's a lot to be said about the imprint of the British Empire onto the DNA of most cities in one way or another, directly or indirectly. And it would be different if, in the mix there, we had thrown a Buenos Aires or Mexico City, but they certainly have in common – and that would be probably common to anything that has a colonial legacy – I guess it's the sense of outpost, the sense of gateway, I guess it's those realities being, or having been at some point, frontier realities.


And I guess then what's built into that is that obviously then the heart of any nearly any conversation you would have about Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and any other major Australian city is there is a history of expropriation and partial cancelling of whose stories you've built that place on. I think that perhaps applies a little less – there is a bit of that to Singapore, and that Singapore is a slightly different reality. And it really stands out in Sydney and Melbourne because it's part of the narrative of those places and the First Nations or Aboriginal nations that that held those places. And that Dubai then becomes an interesting story because in a sense, it has a new form of colonialism in itself where it's drawing masses to it in a relatively colonial way to construct the city itself. So it's not just what was there but is being brought there to create that there.


Greg Clark

We need a bottle of wine, Michele, there's lots to discuss here.


Michele Acuto

Keep on asking, but this is water. Now this is on record, I'm drinking water.


Greg Clark

In fact, I'm going to ask you two more questions. I apologize. But if you think about the relationship between imperial processes and urbanization, you've just made some points about cities from the British Empire. But if you take this more broadly and think about cities that have been influenced by other imperial processes, Greek, Roman, Persian, Ottoman, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese empires, do you see different DNA in the cities of different imperial clusters?


Michele Acuto

You probably do see different cultural traits, so if you use trait as one of the markers of the DNA, perhaps – so the more complicated term there, the phenotype, so the idea of a set of traits – you would see different cultural phenotypes in these places because they're attached to either a rejection, a transition, different degrees of brutal blending of culture, and I guess not just generally, culturally speaking, but I guess a culture of urbanism and urbanisation that comes from another place.


So the tangible example you get, obviously the physical form is where it lands. So here in Melbourne, you can stare at the Hoddle Grid in the in the heart of the city and you can scream European influence, and you would say British influence. And it would be in reality a Roman influence onto the British built form that then got exported to Australia. So in a sense, you can certainly see some degree of culture, but not just in the physical shape, but in the political shape, the way the place is governed, or in the cultural shape.


And I think what's interesting there is that you probably can trace it also as to where there's been clashes with those shapes, so for instance, whether a place has rejected at some point the colonial culture, has blended it into something else, has some degree of hereditary history there that has been retained. And certainly that's the case in Australia, versus Singapore reconstructed itself quite radically. And Dubai has an unspoken element there because there's limited reference to the original colonial story. But it also very rarely speaks of its own current DNA because it's potentially so confronting politically and socially.


Greg Clark

Very interesting. I can't wait to talk about Dubai with you a bit more in a minute. Last point from me: in the work you do about urban advocacy, city diplomacy, urban networks, are there insights about the kinds of differences that you've just been talking about, the differences between cities that perhaps have been influenced by the Spanish Empire or the Portuguese Empire or the Ottoman Empire? Is awareness of these differences a useful element of the understanding of how cities can advocate or reform or innovate together? How do these two ideas connect?


Michele Acuto

I had a suspicion that we were going to go into the city networks part or global urban governance part, and actually something sprung to mind. I don't know if you're touching on this or not, but it's hard to talk about DNA without talking about our DNA as the complementary functioning genomic structure. So the idea that there is not just a set of genetic traits within the nucleus, the heart of a thing, let's say, for the sake of it in this case, but also a messenger that brings that thing to other things, to us, to the external parts of the nucleus of the mitochondrial part and so forth. But I guess something that takes something and makes it travel, so the messenger there. So the mRNA or the tRNA.


And I think that the interesting part there is that that is probably what is happening, and has happened to a massive volume, in the last 20-30 years in the world of not just city networking, so coalitions of kids, but global urban governance more generally. So the massive amount, whether we're still going to have it or not, of summitry and summits and conferences and so forth, the multilateral institutions and so on. So there's something there about how that reality is where maybe different DNAs get next to each other, but also where there's entities like city networks, like urban experts, consultants, multilateral entities, consultancies and so forth, academics that function as the mRNA or tRNA and make bits of cities travel between each other.


Caitlin Morrissey

And so just building off that question, within cities, do you think cities can know all of their DNA? And if they do understand their DNA, how might they use it? And who do you think is using it?


Michele Acuto

Yeah, I find it interesting in the sense that what do you use DNA for? And if we suspend for a second the considerations of crime and forensic matters you would use the DNA to understand your genealogy, right? To understand where you come from. So in a sense, it's urban history in that case. And that's certainly something that as a city, if you take the city as a proxy for either local government or local governance, there's lots to be done with that metaphor there in the idea of understanding where you come from.


So as we were saying before, for instance, coming to terms with your colonial history, or coming to terms with your inherent, inbuilt genetic conditions – whether it's a heart condition or you've been built fundamentally for a car-based development, or culturally there's something there. You've been built for a specific elite and culture, you've been built for the nucleus and not the rest of the body – so you certainly can stretch the metaphor there and do all of that by understanding what your DNA or DNAs are.


So if we don't use the metaphor and say you’re also understanding you have multiple DNAs built in each city, that there are perhaps multiple cities coexisting at the same time, would allow you to understand where the frictions are between those multiple DNAs or where, I guess more positive, where that the point of connections you can find.


Whether you can stretch that, the whole logic further into it, can you change it, or can you do anything about it? I guess it takes into the world of genomic editing, right. Has massive ethical implications. And I suspect it probably has less and less of an ethical implication in the built environment of. But it certainly plays well as an idea plays well with the idea of understanding what are your fundamental traits and whether you can, if not alter them entirely, I guess the metaphor is useful to think that you can probably just only tinker with them slightly.


Greg Clark

I just found myself in furious agreement with Michele, and this is just a comment, it's not really a question, that this question of whether a city can alter its DNA, can, in a sense, get into its epigenetic dynamics is very interesting, because cities can, I suppose, deliberately acquire new populations or they can deliberately create new quarters or they can deliberately establish a new function in their economy that they didn't have before. I think when Michele talks to us about Singapore and Dubai, for example, one of the questions might be have their conscious attempts to build new economic functions and enabled them, in a sense, to evolve and develop their DNA, or are these things just manifestations of their DNA? I think this will be interesting when we get to that. But I think what Michele said is fascinating.


Caitlin Morrissey

Yeah, I totally agree. This is just another comment as well, but it makes me think about the cities that have deindustrialized, and there is a huge amount of learning that you can do from other cities that have gone through similar experiences. And I guess the industrial economy is part of your DNA, and if you know what's going to happen to you, maybe you can prepare for it. In a way, I think that's called gene therapy when you look at human beings. So that's something I've been thinking about, too. 


And so we have one final question in terms of the general DNA of cities opening and closing sections, which is: obviously this metaphor can be shaped and stretched and be incredibly useful in many different ways. But does it raise any questions for you about things that it might leave out or any key limitations when we think about how cities evolve?


Michele Acuto

So a key limitation, I was saying at the beginning, I do think, is the fact that we probably need to come to terms with the fact that there's multiple strands of DNA. So there's multiple cities lived. And again, I'm not making that much up. In reality, what I'm doing is riffing off Simon Marvin and Steve Graham and the idea of Splintering Urbanism. So the idea that the urban texture and the urban in itself, or the city, is splintering into multiple realities. You can literally live different cities in London on the basis of different things, and it doesn't necessarily always have to be capital and money that you have. But it might be culture, it might be your position in society or jobs and so forth.


So I think from that perspective, the idea is probably that it would stretch it to what happens between the frictions of the multiple DNAs that are built in a city and that there's a lot to be done there also with the logic – and I guess this is Langdon Winner or Steve Rayner – of the idea of the sociotechnical lock-ins that are inbuilt into the city. So there it holds, it's a great idea because it says, OK, things that happened a long, long while ago, Roman colonisation of the British Isles, bring you to the current DNA of Melbourne. So the long term social-technical lock-ins. But it can be less glamorous things, toilets or air conditioning or lifts and so forth.


Just two super quick thoughts that come to mind in our conversation to me is that the idea of acting on your DNA at a city scale makes you think about the big changes, exactly as you put them, de-industrialisation, the explicit campaign for more international students, typical things that we see here, for instance, a threat. And it perhaps leaves out the idea that actually genomic editing is an incredibly microscopic thing. It's very minute. And that actually is not a bad lesson for urbanists. That major shifts in the nature of cities perhaps also come from incredibly small changes to a habit or to a thing in itself, that perhaps we can rewrite this into Singapore, Dubai and Sydney. But some major changes might not have to come from a redesign of the entirety of the metropolitan economy of Sydney. It could literally come from the opening of a specific school or the redesign of a park that leads into something. So I guess small changes and a plea for the small changes.


And the other one was that, as Greg was saying, if there's also a parallel to the DNA of urbanisation, then I wonder where is the parallel of the so-called Human Genome Project to map what the DNA of humans is? And the fact that this is something that my colleague Enora Robin and I have done,  especially Enora, for quite some time, in saying there isn't a place or an institution or a reality that really is keeping the pulse of urbanisation, perhaps David Satterthwaite at the IIED in the UK, but it's barely. The only reality I can think it is trying to map the entirety of the process of urbanization, and that necessarily requires the towns and the small burgs and the stuff we don't speak about because it's on the outskirts. The Ballarats and Bendigos, not the Melbournes and Sydneys.


Greg Clark

Again, a quick comment, Michele, I don't know if you read the OECD update on urbanization that was published in late June, but the big theme there is about this, what you were just describing and if you like, the real geography of the urbanization process, particularly in the periphery, and particularly this new focus that they've taken on the small towns, the urbanizing villages, the clusters of semirural semi urban areas, the emergence of this kind of metaspace, if you like, of what I call distributed urbanization. But there's interesting stuff. Anyway, Caitlin, let's keep going. We're going to talk to Michele now about three cities.


Caitlin Morrissey

Exactly. What we just need to do is to start with one. Is there a city that you'd prefer to speak first about on the DNA? The main question for each will be, what is the DNA of Dubai or Sydney or Singapore?


Michele Acuto

Alphabetical order? Perhaps do it in alphabetical order. So unless you want to start with the first and end with the last, we start with Singapore and then go to Sydney and then Dubai, up to you.


Let's start with Singapore then. In my opinion, the DNA of Singapore is such a shambles of multiple DNAs all squeezed tightly against each other in an incredibly tight space for what it holds, that it's almost impossible to sort of reduce it to "it's these three characteristics". It certainly is a port. And you can physically see it when you land, or when you go to the beach or the waterfront, the endless line of tankers and container ships. But it's more than a port. It's a cobbling-together of really unlikely mixes of not just Southeast Asia, but Asia as a whole.


So from that perspective, I think that the interesting thing about the DNA of Singapore is that it has worked. But it has worked at the expense of some sizable individual freedom limitations, as much as some sizable structural limitations of the place. It's a place that's fundamentally dependent for almost everything on other places. But potentially that mix, and the mass of DNAs squeezed together, give it a really important advantage in it being a very innovative strand of DNA, and something where lots of interesting things are coming up, perhaps at times a bit questionable, ethically or otherwise, but certainly really embodying the idea of the frontier and the idea of the possible and the experimentation that goes with the frontier.


Greg Clark

Let me just ask you to say something about, you know, if you take Singapore in 1964, a poor post-colonial island, and then you think about Singapore in 2020 and you think of all of those development cycles it's been through, is there something particular about Singapore that has enabled this apparently extremely successful development, which has, of course, increased GDP per capita in an exponential way? What is it about Singapore's journey that you think is distinctive?


Michele Acuto

I think if you take Singapore in ‘64 and you take Singapore last year, you'll find similar things. You'd think Singapore in ‘64 was similar to some of the colonial outposts at the beginning of their golden times. I think what you find there is its capacity to, back then, acquire knowledge. So if you take it in the 60s, you actually would meet a bunch of people from London, but in reality, a Swiss and a German and the Japanese, so a bunch of consultants with the UNDP, U.N. Development Program, but academics that would go and fund, for instance, a department at University College London, that bring certain ideas to the place, not just about the space of it, but its development. And if you fast forward to now, what Singapore is being good at doing is becoming not just a frontier for that knowledge to land, but an engine or a or a lab for that knowledge to be formed and expand.


So something I always say is for their strength, Singapore, looking back 20 years, perhaps even less, wasn't even on the map in terms of research and higher education. And at the moment, it stands up there with the big Americans and the big British universities, for instance. So there's something about its capacity not just to be a port and a gateway, but also to build knowledge in its DNA in that sense of knowledge creation, not just knowledge purchasing and retention.


Caitlin Morrissey

And so perhaps now we can move on to, what is the DNA of Sydney?


Michele Acuto

In my mind, the DNA of Sydney is an easily contested DNA, because it's built on a pretty dark history of some of the most desirable pieces of land on the planet being taken away from certain people, and then the DNA of the place itself being built on liveability and desirability of that location. It's far, far away from everything else. Geography still matters. And in that DNA, Sydney still is capable of having that fundamental trait of being the green Liverpool seaside town.


So from that perspective, I think one of the interesting things is it's an inherent contradiction, perhaps a bit of a violence in the creation of that place. But I guess at the same time also that it has understood its place very, very well. And I mean it really physically. So a very good understanding of its placing and place in the world and its capacity to profit on that. I guess that there's some pretty important ethical considerations of that profiting. But it certainly has understood that the Antipodes can be desirable and how to make the Antipodes desirable, being so far from everything else.


Caitlin Morrissey

And then finally, in your mind, what is the DNA of Dubai?


Michele Acuto

In my mind, the DNA of Dubai is one of the most bizarre things most probably I've ever seen, and I remain fascinated by it because it would be easy to dismiss the DNA of Dubai as speculation, as profit driven. And I would argue, and there's colleagues that argue this better than I do because they've lived in Dubai longer than I have lived. The DNA of Dubai is actually the little street of Satwa or those bits where the tourist doesn't go, where real estate speculation is ridiculously low, potentially. It's in the kebab restaurants of Al Astad and the likes of it, of Ravi and its curries, because it is still in the fact that so many people took a punt on a place for a better opportunity.


And it often gets cancelled by the idea of the DNA of Dubai being the DNA of the ruling family. And it's absolutely true, and it's absolutely true the speculation and the riches and the reach for, I guess, that logistic role in the world or that speculation role in the world. But I think it's very interesting that by telling that story we almost immediately cancel the DNA of the Dubai built by the Pakistanis and the Indians and the Filipinos, that by the thousands make the everyday life of Dubai. And if you look at that one, actually, there's some hope in the picture beyond the easy dismissing of Dubai as fundamentally flawed, genetically flawed and impossible, the opportunity there is really to be found in the back alleys, not in the seven-star hotels.


Greg Clark

It's interesting, Michele, that when you talk to knowledgeable Emiratis about the DNA of Dubai, they are very quick to say that the current period of speculation, tourism, retail-based development, this exorbitant consumption, is really just a cycle that it's going through, and that actually what Dubai's soul, or perhaps its DNA, is about is adaptive invention. And they talk a lot about the pearling village that because of the growth of you know, cultured pearls elsewhere in the world had to get into becoming a port. And then because the seaborne trade was being rapidly overtaken by the airborne trade, they had to create an airport. And then because the trade in services became greater than the trade in goods, they had to become a financial and business services centre. And then because the trade in ideas is now greater than the trade in services, they are on their way to becoming a knowledge exchange, and that this, coupled with their role in the region as a kind of open, cosmopolitan, more liberal city than the other cities in the region is a kind of model that they're now pursuing, not unlike the role of Singapore in ASEAN, for example.


So I suppose my question is, would you like to talk about any of the similarities or differences that you see between any of the three cities that you've just spoken about? And also, if you want to say something else about Dubai, it would be useful to know.


Michele Acuto

Yeah, it is the very common story you'd get of Dubai. Actually, what that makes me think, and I'm taking it off the super work that Tim Bunnell does in Singapore about Southeast Asia, and East Asia more in general – him, Daniel Gore, they talk about the importance of urban aspirations. And if we build it into the conversation, DNA. Certainly in the DNA of cities, there probably are specks of the DNA of other cities, almost certainly. So the story of Dubai and Singapore is very telling there, because absolutely, there's probably a pivoting, I would argue, at least in my experience, that would be around about, whether before or after, the 2008 GFC, and the crisis there obviously hits Dubai hard, but there's a shift there. And even in the points of reference that it was Dubai becoming the New York of the Middle East and so forth, then all of a sudden the model shifts and it's the Singapore model, and the Singapore model has so much purchase into what now have become models, because Dubai itself is then being used as a model in India and Southeast Asia, interestingly, and many other places in Africa.


So there is always a model that gets referred to and, in a sense, actually a common trade between the DNA of the ruling elite and the DNA of the temporary migrant elite that actually physically build the place. Is that aspiration? Is that looking forward? And something very interesting that I found is that friends and colleagues at the last World Government Summit that Dubai was holding, the kicking off of building the Museum of the Future, they were trying to explain to me how Dubai was trying to make not just knowledge, but the future as a business and as part of its DNA, it being in the business of the future and thinking, "Well, no, this is common in many, many other places."


And it is the role of aspiration and ambition in the construction of places, so that's something common that I would argue that can connect very easily, Sydney as well, in that part of the story, and the aspirations of Sydney being a liveable knowledge base, the arts-oriented global metropolis, very much in that writing, the early 90s, writing about Sydney as a global city that you've worked on as well. There's a lot of it in the aspiration of being something else.


Greg Clark

Again, this is a comment more than anything else, but I think what you just said brings us back to what you said right at the start, that if you like, the DNA of urbanisation, rather than the DNA of an individual city, is probably something closely tied to this idea of collective aspiration, isn't it? That groups of people, investors, students, realtors, hoteliers, whoever they are, military, imperial powers, there's a collective aspiration to the formation of the journey of the city that somehow explains how urbanisation is different from what we might call ruralisation, for example.


Michele Acuto

Yeah, in a sense, maybe the coming-together of joint aspirations and obviously the politics that go with it and the silencing that goes with it. But yeah, 100 percent, I think that there hasn't been enough writing, and I should say Tim Bunnell takes it from Arjun Appadurai, if you – the genealogy there is the sociology of urbanisation. I've read through the sociology of globalisation and the inequalities of that, and the logic there is exactly that, that what troubles these aspirations for troubles is future visions and the clashes of them, and the power politics of whose visions of the future come to dominate what.


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