Critical Urban Theory and the Historicity of the Urban

Judit Bodnar, Central European University

Critical urban theory is not simply the urban branch of critical theory; it has become central to its renewal. This potential of critical urban theory, however, can only be realized in a sustained engagement with the history of the urban. The focus of urban studies has shifted from the study of cities to that of urbanization, then with Lefebvre to the production of space and generalized urbanization at the planetary scale. The urban fundamentally connotes the spatiality of capitalism and its uneven geographical development now. The ‘urban question’ becomes thus constitutive of critical theory, and following the partly one-sided spatial turn, it calls for a resolutely historical reorientation on our part.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 259. What is Critical History