Globopolis versus cosmopolis : Alternative paradigms for livable cities in Asia
, dynamiques urbaines, gouvernance, participation, néolibéralisme, mondialisation, cosmopolitisme, espace urbain, privatisation, ville globale, global city, urbanité, Asia, Asie, Douglass Mike
From the late 1980s the production of urban space in Asia has been proceeding under historically new dynamics that are rapidly transforming city life. One dimension of these dynamics is the emergence of a middle class that is pushing for political reform and greater participation in urban governance. At the same time, in an ascendant neoliberal policy era of diminishing scope for public policy, intensifying inter-city competition for global investment and status is turning the economy and political orientation of the city outward toward global accumulation and private management of urban space. As these dynamics interplay, a contest is emerging between two contrasting visions of the urban future. One is the idea of the city as an inclusive cosmopolis actively accommodating diversity and local production of urban space. The other is one of an extroverted globopolis of homogeneous spaces of consumption designed to protect those who are able to access them from the “chaos” of the city of the less wealthy and the poor. While democratization and the rise of civil society provide openings for more cosmopolitan outcomes, fragmentation of the city through mega-projects privatizing urban spaces on very large scales is steering the city toward a globopolis composed of zones of exclusion. The future of cities will depend on how the balance is struck between these two visions of a livable city.
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