Month: November 2014

Divided Cities

Carl Nightingale has written a masterly, globe-spanning history of how segregation has split cities. It is a grand riposte to the shrinking topics of academia and a shiny model of border-crossing transnational thinking. Over nearly 500 years, from Asia to Africa, Europe, and the Americas, Nightingale argues that three ideas worked to consolidate separation as the key to urban formations: governmental directives, intellectual exchange of ideas in areas such as health and eugenics, and the rise of the capitalist real estate industry. He lights down to more specific detail in 1600s Madras, colonial era Calcutta, 19th century Algiers, and then settles into a longer discussion of Chicago and Johannesburg as exemplar 20th century cities riven by race branded in place. Read more…