Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)


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Given my situation, in a university that was ruthless about publication, the only way to survive was to publish at a high level.


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And yes I will here offer a mea culpa: I was from the very beginning determined to publish up a storm and I did emphasize to my students and all those around me who would listen that this was one and perhaps the only way to keep the door open. It was more than the usual publish or perish. The Faustian bargain was that we could survive only if we made our radicalism academically respectable and respectability meant a level of academicism that over time made our work less accessible.

It became hard to combine a radical pedagogy of the sort pioneered by Bill Bunge in the Detroit Geographical Expedition and social activism with academic respectability. Many of my colleagues in the radical movement, those with anarchist leanings in particular, did not care for that choice for very good reasons with the result that many of them, sadly, failed or chose not to consolidate academic positions and the space that we had collectively opened was threatened. We were a very diverse group, free to be radical in any way we wanted.

The written record is much more biased initially to Marxism and anti-imperialism reflecting understandable preoccupations with the Vietnam War , for reasons I have already stated, and the voices of women and minority groups often had difficulty being heard even though there was no specific hegemonic faction as opposed to influential individuals. There was a brief period in the late s when many geographers explored the Marxist alongside other radical options. But by , when I published Limits to Capital a book I had worked on for nearly ten years , that was pretty much all over. By I was venting my frustrations at the widespread rejection of Marxist theoretical perspectives.

In retrospect the piece looks all too accurate in what it foretold. The radicalism that remained in the discipline after many of my erstwhile colleagues had run for the neoliberal hills or, in the British case, to seek their knighthood was thereafter dominated by the postmodern turn, Foucault, post- structuralism Deleuze and Guattari along with Spinoza clearly displacing Marx , postcolonial theory, various shades of environmentalism and sophisticated forms of identity politics around race, gender, sexual orientation, queer theory, to say nothing of theories of non-representation and affect.

During the s, before the rise of the alter-globalization movement, there was little interest in Marxian political economy or Marxism more generally within the discipline or without.

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As always there were some islands of resistance in various departments. Sadly, this comes not only at a time when the conjuncture is right for a revival of interest in Marxist political economy, but it also coincides with a political moment when others are beginning to explore new ways of doing politics that involve putting the best of different radical and critical traditions including but not confined to Marxism and anarchism together in a new configuration for anti- capitalist struggle.

He caricatures all Marxists as functionalist historians peddling a stages theory of history, besotted with a crude concept of a global proletarian class who believe in the teleology of a vanguard party that will inevitably establish a dictatorship of the proletariat in the form of a communist state that will supposedly wither away as communism approaches its steady state to end history.

Now it is undeniable that some communists and in some instances communist parties at certain historical periods have asserted something along those lines as party dogma though rarely in so crude a form. But I have not personally encountered any geographer with Marxist leanings who thinks that way and there are a mass of authors in the Marxist tradition who come nowhere near representing anything of this sort start with Lukacs, Gramsci and then go to E.

Thompson, Raymond Williams and Terry Eagleton. And much of contemporary Marxist political economy is so busy trying to figure out what is going on with the crisis tendencies of contemporary capital to bother with such nonsense. But all we Marxists do, Springer asserts, is re-hash tired old themes which he rather than any geographer with Marxist inclinations has selectively identified and which have been so obviously disproven by historical events.

Furthermore, when we Marxists look at anarchists the only thing we apparently see are people who are against the state as the unique and only enemy, thus denying that anarchists are anti-capitalist too. All of this is pure caricature if not paranoid nonsense. It crams all the actual and intricate complexity of the relation between the two traditions into an ideological framework defined at best by the fight between Marx and Bakunin in , which occurred at a time when the bitter defeat of the Paris Commune poisoned the political atmosphere.

Strange that Springer, the open-minded freedom-loving anarchist, should seek to foreclose on the intellectual and political possibilities open to us at this time in this way. There are, of course, many anarchisms and many Marxisms. The identity of anarchism in particular is very hard to pin down. There is frequently as much bad blood between factions within these traditions if such they are as there is between them.

By the same token, there are as many commonalities between factions across traditions as there are differences. These commonalities prefigure the potentiality for a new left force, maybe of the sort that Bookchin envisages and which I, too, find interesting to explore. I also share with Bookchin a dialectical approach which I think he learned during his early years in the Marxist corner and which he does not always stick to rather than positivist, empiricist or analytical methods and interpretations.

Our attitude is, for lack of a better term, historical and geographical which is why I often refer to historical-geographical materialism as my foundational frame of reference. He was sympathetic to but also suspicious of the anarcho-syndicalism that was so dominant in Barcelona during the s. In part in response to these attacks, Bookchin ultimately severed his links to the anarchist tradition, but he was also troubled and frustrated by the fact that anarchism, unlike Marxism, has no discernable theory of society:.

The problems raised by anarchism belong to the days of its birth, when writers like Proudhon celebrated its use as a new alternative to the emerging capitalist social order. This lack of theoretical coherence is a criticism that can be made also of the Marxist autonomistas. It is theoretically and relationally defined solely by that which it seeks to be autonomous from.

And this is, of course, exactly what they have done. Anarchists are fond, however, of arguing that anarchism is not about theorizing but about practices and the continuous invention of new organizational forms. But what sort of practices and forms? Horizontality, rhizomatic practices and decentralization of power are litmus tests it seems for anarchists as well as autonomistas these days.

Now this is an extraordinary statement. They give anarchism a bad name, even as James Scott offers two cheers for anarchism when people pluck up courage to cross the street at red lights when there is no traffic in sight. Scott even suggests the abolition of traffic lights altogether might be a good anarchist idea. I am much more skeptical having witnessed 1st Avenue on Manhattan turned into a continuous roaring race-track northwards during a power outage, to the detriment of all those locked on the cross streets. Historically, mutual aid societies whether anarchist inspired or not had, like the commons, codes and rules of behavior that had to be followed as part of the membership pact and those who did not conform to these rules found themselves excluded a problem which marks the problematic boundary between individualistic and social anarchism.

Perpetually questioning authority, rules and codes of behavior and disobeying stupid or irrelevant rules is one thing: No anarchist commune I have ever known would tolerate such behaviors.

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It would not survive more than a day if it did. The standard anarchist response is that rules and exclusions are ok provided they are freely entered into. The myth here is that there is some sort of absolute freedom that exists outside of some mechanisms of exclusion and even, sorry to say, domination. The dialectic of freedom and domination cannot be so easily set aside in human affairs see Harvey, The ultimate aspiration, says David Graeber Such struggles are about the realization of value rather than its production Harvey, , From an urban perspective even the production of value needs to be re-thought.

For example, Marx insisted that transportation is value and potentially surplus-value producing.

Ventilating Cities : Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living

The booming logistics sector is rife with value and surplus value production. And while General Motors has been displaced by McDonalds as one of the largest employers of labor in the US, why would we say that making a car is productive of value while making a hamburger is not? When I stand at the corner of 86th and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan I see innumerable delivery, bus and cab drivers; workers from Verizon and Con Edison are digging up the streets to fix the cables, while down the street the water mains are being repaired; other workers are constructing the new subway, putting up scaffolding on one side of the street while taking it down on the other; meanwhile the coffee shop is making coffees and in the local hour diner workers are scrambling eggs and serving soups.

Even that guy on the bicycle delivering Chinese take-out is creating value. These are the kinds of jobs, in contrast to those in conventionally defined manufacturing and agriculture, that have increased remarkably in recent times and they are all value and surplus value producing. Manhattan is an island of huge value creation.

If only half of those employed in the production and reproduction of urban life are employed in the production of this sort of value and surplus value, then this easily compensates for the losses due to the industrialization of agriculture and the automation in conventional manufacturing. This is the contemporary proletariat at work and Springer is quite right to complain that much of mainstream Marxist thinking has a hard time getting its head around this new situation which, it turns out, is not wholly new at all.

This is the proletarian world in which many social anarchist groups have been and still are embedded. But we need to take the argument further.


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The battles with landlords, the phone, electricity and credit card companies are just the most obvious examples of struggles within the sphere of realization that pervade daily life. It is in such realms that the politics of refusal often make a lot of sense. None of this is central in the standard Marxist theoretical cannon when clearly, to me, as an urbanist, it should be. I feel entirely comfortable with daily life perspectives and applaud the social anarchist position on this. I do, however, have a caveat: This is why the transition from Kropotkin to Patrick Geddes, Mumford and the anarchist- inspired urban planners becomes an important issue for me.

This aspect of the social anarchist tradition — the preparedness to jump scales and integrate local ambitions with metropolitan wide concerns — is invaluable if obviously flawed and I am distressed that most anarchists, including Springer apparently, ignore if not actively reject it presumably because it seems hierarchically inspired or entails negotiating with if not mobilizing state power. It is here, of course, that the Marxist insights on the relation between capital accumulation and urbanization become critical to social action.

And it is surely significant that the urban uprisings in Turkey and Brazil in were animated by everyday life issues as impacted by the dynamics of capital accumulation and that they were metropolitan-wide in their implications. It would be wrong to conclude from all this that Marxists do not work politically and practically on the politics of daily life or in the sphere of value realization. I meet such people all over the place all the time, involved in, say, anti-gentrification struggles and fights over the provision of health care and education as well as in right to the city movements.

The Marxist critique of education under capitalism has been profound Bowles and Gintis, This is a realm where Marxist practices often go well beyond the theoretical content a gap which I as well as other Marxist geographers like Neil Smith , and, from a somewhat different angle, Gibson-Graham have attempted to close. But it is also clear to me that many people working politically on these daily life questions do not care about Marxism or anarchism ideologically but simply engage in radical practices that often converge onto anti-capitalist politics for contingent rather than ideological reasons.

This is the kind of world of non-ideological collective action that Paul Hawken writes so enthusiastically about. I have met workers in recuperated factories in Argentina whose primary interest was nothing more than having a job and activists within solidarity economies in Brazil who are simply concerned with improving daily life. Sure, most of those involved will praise horizontalism when asked, but for most of them that was not what spurred them into action Sitrin and Azzelini, Those working in such contexts seize on any literature and any concepts that seem relevant to their cause no matter whether articulated by anarchists, Marxists or whoever.

If, as Springer But the implications are, I think, even broader. This requires a real attempt to live as far as possible an unalienated life in an increasingly alienating world. I admire the social anarchists I have known because of their deep personal and intellectual commitment to do just that.

Social anarchists are not, however, alone in this.

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I am all for it too. I featured alienation a taboo concept for many Marxists of a scientistic or Althusserian persuasion as the seventeenth and in many respects crucial contradiction in my Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism Millions of people are perpetually struggling to do just that and in so doing create islands of unalienated activities. This is what many religious groups do all the time.

Many young people in the world today, faced with meaningless employment opportunities and mindless consumerism are searching and opting for a different lifestyle. Much of contemporary cultural production in the Western world is building upon exactly this sensibility and the broad left, both anarchist and Marxist, has to learn to respond appropriately. Surely there must be a link between the actual experience of first imagining things and then bringing them into being, individually or collectively, and the ability to envision social alternatives—particularly, the possibility of a society itself premised on less alienated forms of creativity?

Whether this was true in the past can be debated I personally think there were elements of this configuration at work in the Paris Commune. So what, then, is the central problem in the midst of all this positive feeling about the social anarchist approach to daily life questions? And behind this, of course, lies the thorny problem of how to approach the question of the state in general and the capitalist state in particular.

The best I can do here is to take up the most compelling historical example I have come across of the failure of an amazingly well-developed anarchist movement to mobilize collective power and to take the state when it clearly had the opportunity to do so. I propose to use this example to illustrate what seems to be a general problem with anarchist practices, including those that Springer advocates. The Barcelona movement was based on the instinctive collective organizations of working class populations in the barris neighborhoods of the city along the lines of integrated social networks and mutual aid, coupled with deep distrust of a state apparatus that neglected their social needs and essentially criminalized, marginalized, and merely sought to police and repress their aspirations.

Given these conditions, large segments of the working class fell in line with anarcho-syndicalist forms of organization as represented by the National Confederation of Labor CNT , which at its height had over a million adherents throughout Catalonia. There were, however, other anarchist currents — the radical anarchists in particular — that often opposed the syndicalists and organized themselves often clandestinely through affinity groups and neighborhood committees to pursue their aims.

But the overall structure of this working class movement was neighborhood based and territorially segregated. But it had great difficulty in thinking the city as a whole rather than in terms of those separate territories it did control. In political terms, the revolution was underdeveloped and inchoate….. Even worse, the movement largely betrayed its own principles by practices that ignored the will of the people. The insurrectionists expected and appealed for mass support which rarely materialized for actions decided upon by no more than at most a hundred but in many instances just a dozen or so members of a particular affinity group.

This created problems for everyone else. That is not revolutionary. What is the point of insurrectionary action, they said, if there is no idea let alone concrete plan to re-organize the world the day after? Firstly there is the failure to shape and mobilize political power into a sufficiently effective configuration to press home a revolutionary transformation in society as a whole. If, as seems to be the case, the world cannot be changed without taking power then what is the point of a movement that refuses to build and take that power?

Secondly, there is an inability to stretch the vision of political activism from local to far broader geographical scales at which the planning of major infrastructures and the management of environmental conditions and long distance trade relations becomes a collective responsibility for millions of people. Who will manage the transport and communications network is the question. The anarchist town planners including Bookchin understood this problem but their work is largely ignored within the anarchist movement. These dimensions define terrains upon which anarchists but not Marxists are fearful of operating which is not to say the Marxists have no failures to their credit.

And it is here that the whole history of anarchist influences in centralized urban planning deserves to be resurrected. This is a complicated topic that I cannot possibly probe into more deeply here. But this is clearly the most obvious point where anarchist concerns for the qualities of daily life and Marxist perspectives on global capital flows and the construction of physical infrastructures through long-term investments could come together with constructive results.

Springer prefers insurrectionary to revolutionary politics. Self- liberation through insurrection is all well and good but what about everyone else? Every revolution, indeed, even every attempt to achieve basic change, will always meet with resistance from elites in power. Every effort to defend a revolution will require the amassing of power — physical as well as institutional and administrative — which is to say, the creation of government.

Anarchists may call for the abolition of the state, but coercion of some kind will be necessary to prevent the bourgeois state from returning in full force with unbridled terror. Only within such autonomous spaces can true democratic practices become possible. From my perspective this means creating a parallel state like the Zapatistas within the capitalist state.

Such experiments rarely work and when they do, as in the case of the paramilitary forms of organization that dominate in Colombia or the various mafia like organizations that exist around the world e. Even left revolutionary guerilla movements such as the FARC in Colombia experienced defaults of this kind and there is no guarantee that any parallel power structure devised by anarchists will not suffer from similar problems. The critique of radical individualism runs as follows. The concept of the free individual bears the mark of liberal legal institutions even of private property in the body and the self spiced with a hefty dose of that personalized protestant religion which Weber associated with the rise of capitalism.

His sort of anarchism has its roots in liberal theory and the Judeo- Christian tradition even as it constructs its anti-capitalism through the negation of the market and a critique of the class and environmental consequences of liberal theory and capitalist practices.

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There is nothing wrong with this Marx also constructs largely by way of negation of classical political economy and its liberal and Judeo-Christian roots. But the result is an awkward overlap at times which exists in both Marx and Proudhon in which the critique incorporates and mirrors far too much of that which it criticizes. This is an issue that has to be rationally unpacked because it has had and potentially will continue to have real consequences.

Back in , they argued, industrial capitalism faced a moment of technological possibility in its organization in which it could either move towards mass factory production of the sort that Marx predicted and embraced or take the path that Proudhon advocated, which was the linking together of small, independent workshops in which associated laborers could democratically control their work and their lives. The wrong choice was made after , they claim, and thereafter mass factory production, with all of its evils, dominated industrial capitalism.

But in the s new technologies and organizational forms were emerging which posed that same choice anew. Both Piore and Sabel, armed with their reputations, their MacArthur grants and supported by so-called progressive thinkers and institutions of the time, set out to persuade the unions to embrace the Proudhonian vision rather than oppose the new technologies. Sabel became an influential advisor to the International Labour Organization. Many of us on the Marxist left were deeply troubled by this turn. I added my voice to the critics by arguing in The Condition of Postmodernity ; as well as at the AAG in Baltimore in when Sabel and I clashed fiercely , that flexible specialization was nothing other than a tactic of flexible accumulation for capital.

The campaign to persuade or cajole via the International Monetary Fund countries to adopt policies for the flexibilization of labor was a sign of this intent and it still goes on through IMF mandates, as now in Greece. This left nearly all of the newly produced wealth in the hands of the one percent. Capitalist anarchism is a real problem. It has its coherent central theory as set out by Nozick, Hayek and others, and a doctrine of market freedoms.

It has turned out not only to be the most successful form of decentralized decision making ever invented — as Marx so elegantly demonstrated in Capital — but also a force for an immense centralization of wealth and power in the hands of an increasingly powerful oligarchy. This dialectic between decentralization and centralization is one of the most important contradictions within capital see my Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism and I wish all those, like Springer, who advocate decentralization as if it is an unalloyed good would look more closely at its consequences and contradictions.

As I argued in Rebel Cities a , decentralization and autonomy are primary vehicles for producing greater inequality and centralization of power. Once again, Bookchin sort of agrees: This was, by the way, my main problem with the stance taken by Gibson-Graham in their pursuit of totally decentralized anti- capitalist alternatives. While left anarchism of the Proudhon sort has no coherent theory, right-wing capitalist anarchism has a coherent theoretical structure that rests upon a seductive utopian vision of human freedom.

It took the genius of Marx to deconstruct this theory in Capital. Which brings me to the question of the relations between Marx and Proudhon. I have freely recognized e. What Marx accepted and what he arrived at by negation in his interrogations from any of these people is a complicated question. But to go from this recognition to suggest that Marx plagiarized everything from Proudhon in particular is indeed totally absurd.

The idea of the exploitation of labour by capital, for example, was far more strongly articulated by Blanqui than by Proudhon and was completely accepted by the socialist Ricardians. It was obvious to pretty much everyone and Marx made no claims of originality in pointing to it. What Marx did was to show how that exploitation could be accomplished without violating laws of market exchange that theoretically and in the utopian universe of classical political economy rested upon equality, freedom and reciprocity.

To promote those laws of exchange as the foundation of equality was to create the conditions for the centralization of capitalist class power. This was what Proudhon missed. When Marx pointed to the importance of the commodification of labor power he may well have been drawing on Blanqui without acknowledgement but even here it was Marx and not Blanqui who recognized its significance for the theory of capital. It is here precisely that Marx points out how theories of justice are not universal but specific, and in the bourgeois case specific to the rise of liberal capitalism.

Ventilating Cities Shinsuke Kato. The Andes Christoph Stadel. Landscape Analysis and Planning M. Oases and Globalization Emilie Lavie. Mining the Earth's Heat: Recent Landform Evolution Denes Loczy.

Himalayan Quality of Life Benjamin L. The Black Sea Emil Vespremeanu. Floods in a Megacity Ashraf Dewan. Map Functions Ewa Krzywicka-Blum. Back cover copy The majority of the world's population live in environments with artificially weakened wind as buildings in urban areas form wind-breaks and reduce wind speeds.

Table of contents 1. Wind Environment and Urban Environment 2. Sea breeze blowing into urban area: Thermal adaptation outdoors and the effect of wind on thermal comfort 4. Criteria for Assessing Breeze Environment 6. Legal regulations for urban ventilation 7.

Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)
Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography) Ventilating Cities: Air-flow Criteria for Healthy and Comfortable Urban Living (Springer Geography)

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