Gulf Cities of Wealth, Ambition, and Distress
"The book offers an invaluable survey of the topic, and a guide to a vast literature on this increasingly important region that is largely absent from urban studies as a whole." -- Urban Studies "The regions urbanization has had a profound global influence on the worlds of architecture and urban planning, and on what urban megaprojects are more broadly expected to do in an economy or society... The Gulf, as [the contributors] claim in The New Arab Urban, is not just a passive recipient of urban policy, but a key site of production." -- Public Books "With a firm perspective on regional context and urban specificity, this collection of original essays offers a range of grounded conceptual narratives on architecture, urban planning, consumption, work and daily life in a group of citiesspecifically, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai and Masdarthat embody the phenomenon that is the new Arab urban." * International Journal of Urban and Regional Research * "Despite the academic interest that the spectacular new 'cities' in the Arab Gulf have garnered lately, this fascinating book argues that our tried-and-tested theories fall short in understanding them or learning from their rapid urbanization. The various essays propose different approaches to considering this old/new form of urbanity, but, together with the editors critical conclusion, expand the domain of urban study itself to draw concepts like mobility, transience, complexity, hybridity, contradiction, spontaneity, and even unpredictability into its interpretive paradigms. The book simply aims to achieve for the study of the 'Gulf city' the same kind of perspectival adjustment that Janet Abu Lughod accomplished for the 'Islamic city.'" -- Nasser Rabbat,Author of Mamluk History Through Architecture: Monuments, Culture and Politics in Medieval Egypt "Molotch and Ponzini promise us 'analytical shock therapy,' and that is what this book delivers. Inspired by Learning from Las Vegas, they ask us to set aside preconceptions, showing that cities really can be created with land monopoly and a potent mix of spectacle, inequality and authoritarianism. Whats more, these are not one-offs, but test beds for new globalizing forms of city building, as they are emulated and exported. There is urgent need to understand them, and for disquiet." -- Michael Storper,Co-author of The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles "The New Arab Urban is a magisterial account of the densely settled Arab Gulf... a memorable work on the urbanization of the Arab Gulf, one that will be indispensable to future research and scholarship on the region." * Global Policy Journal *
Harvey Molotch is Professor of Sociology at New York University. His books include the classic, Urban Fortunes (with John Logan) and more recently, Against Security: How We Go Wrong at Airports, Subways, and Other Sites of Ambiguous Danger. Davide Ponzini is Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies at Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He is the author (with Pier Carlo Palermo) of Place-making and Urban Development, and (with photographer Michele Nastasi), Starchitecture: Scenes, Actors, and Spectacles in Contemporary Cities.