For the last 30 years, the idea of ‘cities as engines of growth’ has played a key role in capturing the imagination of decision-makers and encouraging public and private investments into cities. However, at the same time, the world has experienced the urbanisation of poverty and inequality. Urban development and planning practice focused on the ideal of enhancing GDP has not been able to address conditions of marginalisation and deprivation in cities. In fact, they have contributed to deepen urban social and spatial segregation.
Drawing on the work of Amartya Sen and others from the field of human development and capability debate, this book aims to approach city-making from the lens of the capability approach. What if we understand cities not as engines of growth but of human development? What if we see cities not for what they are, but what they do to people and nature? Alexandre Frediani sets out a capability response that starts with condemning violations of human rights, recognising the collective agency of urban dwellers, and calling for public actions and interventions that address uneven distribution of opportunities and burdens, while promoting democratic processes to imagine and design the cities we value.
Cities for Human Development: A Capability Approach to City-Making
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