City and Home

It may seem arbitrary to single out the city and home as locales for spatial history. There is, after all, no shortage of alternatives, such as oceans, bridges, and teahouses.102 The special consideration of city and home is merited, however, by their considerable prominence in scholarship that foregrounds space and place.

Many key theoretical engagements with space have drawn chiefly on the examples of city or home. The city is usually the assumed scale of analysis in Lefebvre’s Production of Space (1974), with Venice offering the most concrete case explored in the book.103 Walter Benjamin’s studies are notable for their exploration of the urban fabric of Paris and the street wandering flâneur in his Arcades project. This was only the best known of his many philosophically rich works which centre on the city as a space.104 Edward Soja often turns to Los Angeles to explore the spaces of postmodernity, while Michel de Certeau’s most frequently cited passage is taken from his chapter on ‘Walking in the City.’105

The city also serves as a key site for many other spatial theorists. These include Saskia Sassen, Janet Abu-Lughod, Ash Amin, Nigel Thrift, and Linda McDowell.106 David Harvey’s work in urban geography played an important role in introducing Lefebvre to English language readers. He places the ‘spatial forms’ of the city and the economic workings of ‘relational space’ in urban life at the centre of his book Social Justice and the City (1973).107 As these examples suggest, many of the best spatial analyses of cities come from well-established sub-disciplines such as urban geography, urban history, architectural history, and urban sociology, or the innately interdisciplinary field of urban studies.108 The structure of cities, as well as the larger economic regions they form a part of, has also been important to scholarship that adopts more formal methodologies for studying space and social patterns. Some of this work draws inspiration from a long tradition of ‘central place theory’ and related approaches. This includes the work of the anthropologist and East Asia scholar G. William Skinner, or scholars employing ‘space syntax’ approaches developed by Bill Hillier, a strong proponent of architectural and urban morphology studies.109

What of the home as a unit of analysis? Again, there is no shortage of examples here. We might think of Pierre Bourdieu’s analysis of the Berber house as a microcosm of the universe, Gaston Bachelard’s ‘oneiric’ or dreamlike house in Poetics of Space (1957), or Martin Heidegger’s use of the house as the only manifestation of anything concrete in his famous essay ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ (1951). These examples show how the home, like the city, has been important in anthropological and philosophical works that have heavily influenced the study of space and place among historians.110

Scholarship on the home as a space has received the widest engagement within at least four overlapping conceptual approaches. First, the home has long been key to an anthropological analysis of culture.111 Second, architectural historians have frequently explored the structure, form, interiors, and architectural discourses around social practice.112 Third, historians of everyday life, of emotions and the senses, as well as scholars who explore interior spaces as they appear in literature, have contributed immensely to the study of the home.113 Fourth – and perhaps most significantly – histories of the home and domestic space have been at the core of interdisciplinary debates around gender.114 There has been a marked departure from simplistic and often highly critical accounts of the home as a ‘private’ feminine space. Many of the assumptions and binary oppositions of earlier work have yielded to new perspectives. These have encompassed a more careful and consistent distinction between house and home; a more sceptical approach towards the home as a private space; a more nuanced understanding of power and agency in the domestic sphere; and a questioning of gendered stereotypes of specific rooms, or of the home as a whole. But this is to cover only some of the ways in which the home has hosted an active and evolving historiography.115

Let us now survey some of the main themes in the scholarship on city and home which most firmly foreground space and place. If we begin with perceptions of the city itself, we might start with American urban planner Kevin Lynch’s The Image of the City (1960).116 This influential work was based in large part on the analysis of a series of lengthy interviews with residents of Boston, Jersey City, and Los Angeles.117 Lynch built a collective cognitive map of each city. He used these cognitive maps to embark on a reading of paths, edges (recognisable boundaries), districts (areas of two-dimensional extents), nodes (strategic spots that help orient an observer), and landmarks. Lynch argued that, together, these elements composed an image of a more or less ‘imageable’ city. They helped to define the city’s form as expressed in the degree of its singularity (sharpness of boundaries), simplicity and clarity, perception of continuity, the dominance of particular city components, and so forth. Certainly, Lynch drew on a formalised method. However, his raw material was derived from the memories of individuals who live in and move through the city regularly. Without needing to embrace the same formal typology, a historian may be inspired to analyse these ‘tours,’ as de Certeau called the narrative ‘spatial stories’ of our everyday life. They could provide the basis for an exploration of the spatial sensibilities of subjects found in a wide range of sources, from diaries to literary works.118

A cognitive map of one’s lived experience in the city is only one of many possible approaches to exploring perceptions of urban space. The totality of the city is the object of a broad range of discourses, as can be seen in literary depictions of the city. This dimension was explored in British author and critic Raymond Williams’ The Country and the City (1973), especially as characters in novels move from the former to the latter, or else compare them.119 Williams was especially interested in tracing changes in these views over time. For instance, he argued that an earlier ‘perceptual confusion and ambivalence’ towards the city characterised the poems of, say, William Wordsworth. Over time, however, this ambivalence evolved into the view that cities helped to produce an intense sense of alienation.

Williams argued that there was a perceived human ‘dissolution in the very process of aggregation’ in the industrialised city. This is evident in the novels of Charles Dickens, or the writings of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx.120 Indeed, we may trace these changing views across the work of myriad figures who have studied the city’s relationship to humanity. The sociologist Georg Simmel, for example, argued that the city produces a ‘metropolitan type’ of human endowed with techniques to protect their inner life. Conversely, the writer, philosopher and architectural critic Lewis Mumford suggested that, though the city might lead to ‘personal disintegration,’ it was also to be celebrated as a wondrous ‘theatre of social activity.’121 The city as an array of evolving signifiers is a rich feature in the history of cultural discourses. These range from the socialist Charles Fourier’s view of Paris as a ‘manufactory of putrefaction’ due to its poverty and disease, or Miklós Horthy’s depiction of Budapest as the ‘sinful city,’ through to the ethnographic exoticism of Lafcadio Hearn’s depictions of late-nineteenth-century New Orleans, or the ‘marvellous atmosphere of a great birth’ witnessed by journalist Grace Ellison’s in 1920s Angora (Ankara).122 Tracing and comparing these discourses are effective ways of understanding our changing spatial relationship with any sizeable human community. They have been prominent features of scholarship in multiple fields.123

One of the most enduring concepts linked to the image of the city has been that of ‘modernity.’ This has frequently been closely associated with the impact of capitalism.124 Carl Schorske’s Fin-de-Siècle Vienna (1979) explored an emerging modernism that ‘attempted to shake off the shackles of history.’ For Schorske, the development of the Ringstrasse, a ring road around the old inner city, served as a powerful metaphor for the museum-like confinement of the past.125 More recently, geographers such as Ash Amin and Stephen Graham have pointed to the limits of what they call ‘synecdoche in new urbanism.’ Such an orientation assumes that a small set of exceptional cities can serve as a universal model for all cities, and that cities can be evaluated according to a distinctly Western conception of modernity.126 Jennifer Robinson’s influential work Ordinary Cities (2006) traced this tendency through discourses on the city over the past century. Robinson is one of many scholars working to post-colonise urban studies.127

Debates over cities as spaces of modernity also have an important gender dimension. This is especially so when city space is coded as public and male, both by contemporaries and scholars.128 The home, as much as the city, is a place to look for signs of, and responses to, modernity. It thus deserves to be treated as something more than a nostalgic other. As Judy Giles puts it in The Parlour and the Suburb (2004), ‘when we speak of home […] we are often speaking of something else. That “something else” is linked to our most utopian dreams and thus articulates profound needs and desires that are themselves the products of modernity.’129

Both the city and the home have long been the spaces in which we have dreamed these utopian dreams. In modern times, Ebenezer Howard’s ‘Garden City’ (1898), the holistic perspectives on urban planning of Patrick Geddes around the turn of the century, Le Corbusier’s ‘Radiant City’ (1930), as well as socialist realism, have all had a deep impact on utopian spatial ambitions for reordering human life in the city. Other writers have sounded warning calls about the limits of top-down planning in the urban environment. Notable in this respect was The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961) by writer and architectural critic Jane Jacobs.130 At the scale of mass housing and the home, architects, housewives, and governments have all struggled for predominant control over the form, presentation, and spatial ordering of our most intimate places.131

Utopian attempts to reorder space in both city and home come into closest contact with each other in accounts of the modern residential suburb. This can be seen in, for example, the development of Tokyo’s planned suburb of Den’en Chōfu in the 1920s. Based in part on ideas of the Garden City, the project’s hybrid Western-Japanese houses promised a modern ‘cultured’ life. As Jordan Sand observed in his excellent study House and Home in Modern Japan (2003), ‘the exotic occident sustained a dreamscape.’132

Above all, as we will see with the closer examination of one example below, cities are highly contested spaces. In these spaces, overt planning, economic inequalities, and lived practices interact in complex ways. Race and ethnicity both have a powerful impact on the spatial ordering of cities. Indeed, these factors have been explored in depth by scholars from multiple disciplines.133 Moreover, space and place in the city have frequently been foregrounded in histories of sexuality. A pathbreaking study in this respect was George Chauncey’s Gay New York (1995). This self-consciously spatial historical work set itself the task of reconstructing the ‘sexual topography of the gay world.’134

Historical scholarship on cities and imperialism has justifiably retained a strong central focus on debates around economic development and the interaction of empire and capitalism. This can be seen in, for example, the works of the sociologist Anthony D. King.135 However, studies of cities and empire also includes some of the most innovative engagements with space that unite economic, cultural and intellectual realms. This includes work on the ways in which the empire was represented spatially within imperial metropoles, to explorations of the vast gap between the colonial fantasies of urban planners and the social realities of the cities they sought to reorder, such as we see in Garth Andrew Myers’ Verandahs of Power (2003) or William Cunningham Bissell’s Urban Design, Chaos, and Colonial Power in Zanzibar (2011).136

Swati Chattopadhyay’s self-described spatial history Representing Calcutta (2005) compares British and Bengali ‘bids for spatial mastery’ in their representations of the city.137 Representing Calcutta, much like work by Bissell on Zanzibar, shows how little congruence there was between, on the one hand, colonial claims for a ‘white’ town in Calcutta and, on the other, the reality of a more complex racialised spatial order. Chattopadhyay takes this a step further, however. In his book, we meet newly arrived, and confused, British nationals who quickly discovered that, while buildings in ‘their’ part of the city appeared comfortingly Western from the exterior, ‘on closer inspection the interior of the houses functioned according to different rules.’138

Todd A. Henry’s Assimilating Seoul (2014) and Joseph R. Allen’s Taipei: City of Displacements (2012) offer further excellent examples of the potentials of spatial history in exploring cities that spent decades under Japanese colonial rule. Allen uses the full range of meanings implied by the idea of ‘displacement’ to explore the symbolic value, erasure and contradictory representations of Taiwanese history. In doing so, he draws on maps, photographs, museum exhibits, urban morphology, statues, and the many layers of Taipei Park.139 Henry’s study of the ‘colonial politics of place-making’ makes use of several case studies in order to show how the Japanese attempted to convert a royal/imperial Korean city into a Japanese colonial capital. These include, for example, the use of a newly built Korea Shrine Shintō complex on the city’s Namsan mountain in order to spiritually assimilate the city’s subjects; the spatial politics surrounding the conversion of the former Korean royal palace grounds for a new Government-General building; and the use of the grounds to host two major expositions depicting colonial achievements.140 In both cases, Henry and Allen combine rich empirical analysis of the materiality of locales with careful attention to the differing spatial perspectives of the coloniser and the colonised.

Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore

The geographer Brenda Yeoh’s Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment (1996) is a model example of a spatial history which successfully incorporates both a broader colonial urban environment and its close interconnections to the contested politics of everyday domestic spaces.141 Yeoh focuses on conflict, negotiation, and dialogue in a history of interactions between two principal entities: the Municipal Authority of Singapore and the city’s diverse Asian communities. The latter have lived in Singapore since 1822, with the creation of a plan for the city by Stamford Raffles, its British founder. This plan included a racialised spatial vision of a European town combined with Chinese, Malay, and Indian districts.142

Yeoh argues that the evolving colonial administration’s sanitary controls were the main tool for controlling the city’s numerous ‘principal spatial variables.’ These included the extent of the state’s gaze into streets and homes, or their very structure, spacing, and patterns of practice.143 Several chapters in the book are dedicated to these unfolding ambitions. In each case, Yeoh traces the responses of the Asian communities in the city as well as, usually, the resulting frustrations and failure of the municipal government’s goals. Sanitary control was just as much at the heart of municipal reforms in Europe as in colonial settings. In Singapore, as with many other colonial cities, overcrowding and insanitary conditions were attributed to the presumed ‘intrinsic racial peculiarities’ of the Asian communities – something which parallels similar claims about racial and ethnic minorities in imperial metropoles as well. That such issues might be produced by economic inequality or the deliberate policies of the colonial administration was not, of course, usually a dominant theme in discussion, at least on the side of the colonisers.

Sanitary inspectors reached into the home to oppose the very spatial distribution of occupants within buildings by waging a war against cubicle subdivisions. This entailed the use of simple and often temporary internal dividers in order to multiply internal spaces for tenants in a rapidly growing city.144 In their efforts to create new back lanes between densely packed back-to-back houses, municipal policies compounded house scarcity without offering new housing provisions, while simultaneously transforming private into public spaces.145 Even as they attacked night soil collection and the use of the amassed human excreta as fertilizer in urban gardens, the municipal government long delayed efforts to offer an alternative sewage infrastructure. This policy was justified by vague suggestions that these modern conveniences were ill-suited to the diverse toilet practices of Asian populations, despite evidence of its smooth introduction on individual streets.146

Yeoh also shows how the municipal government’s attempts to create a ‘landscape of clarity’147 in the city were consistently frustrated. Efforts to make the city legible ranged from using the power of naming and keeping it alive to the demands of capital, to the expulsion of inalienable sacred spaces from the heart of the city. Two regimes of naming came to co-exist. One took the form of official municipal names, while a second, competing set of names was used by the city’s Asian communities. These systems evinced ‘little direct correspondence’ and represented starkly different ways of signifying urban space. Western municipal names drew on famous personages and nostalgic references to home. Conversely, Chinese street nomenclature was ‘strongly anchored to local features, symbols, and activities which formed a significant part of quotidian experience.’148

Among these campaigns, perhaps the most spatially interesting case is that of the verandahs. These were covered ‘five-foot-ways’ for passage found along the front of buildings throughout the city. From the founding of Singapore, the verandahs were designed to be reserved spaces for public circulation. Yeoh explores their rich complexity in the daily life of the city: they were ‘as much a place – the locus of economic, communal, and occasionally clandestine activities – as a passage.’149 Municipal officials deplored the ‘usurpers of the verandah space,’ or the ‘obstructionists,’ as those who impeded free movement. In 1888, however, attempts to clear them were met with riots.150

Michel de Certeau famously contrasted the ‘practised place’ and ‘pedestrian speech acts’ of ‘walkers’ who create their own ‘mobile organicity’ in a city with the top-down, rationalised conceptual view of city planners. Yeoh’s book, however, provides us with an illuminating example of how more immobile varieties of spatial appropriation could also thwart the designs of urban planners.151

  1. See, for example, Philip E. Steinberg, The Social Construction of the Ocean, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001; Thomas Harrison, Of Bridges: A Poetic and Philosophical Account, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2021; Di Wang, The Teahouse: Small Business, Everyday Culture, and Public Politics in Chengdu, 1900-1950, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008.↩︎

  2. Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith, Oxford: Blackwell, 1991, French 1974.↩︎

  3. Walter Benjamin worked on this from 1927 until his death in 1940, and it was first published in German in 1982. For an English translation see Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1999; for a helpful commentary, see Mike Savage, ‘Walter Benjamin’s Urban Thought: A Critical Analysis,’ in Mike Crang and Nigel Thrift (eds.), Thinking Space, London and New York: Routledge, 2000, pp. 33–53; as well as Susan Buck-Morss, The Dialectics of Seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project, Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1989, pp. 25-43. For an important critique of the figure of the flâneur from a gender studies perspective see Aruna D’Souza and Tom McDonough (eds.), The Invisible Flâneuse? Gender, Public Space, and Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century Paris, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006.↩︎

  4. Edward W. Soja, Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory, 8th ed., London and New York: Verso, 2003, first published 1989; id., Thirdspace: Journeys to Los Angeles and Other Real-and-Imagined Places, Malden, Mass.: Blackwell, 1996; Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984, French 1980, pp. 91-102.↩︎

  5. See Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York, London, Tokyo, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991; Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, Cities: Reimagining the Urban, Cambridge: Polity, 2002; id., Seeing Like a City, Cambridge: Polity, 2017; Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1971; Linda McDowell, Capital Culture: Gender at Work in the City, Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.↩︎

  6. David Harvey, Social Justice and the City, London: Edward Arnold, 1973; see also id., Spaces of Hope, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000; on Harvey and Lefebvre, see Andy Merrifield, Henri Lefebvre: A Critical Introduction, New York and London: Routledge, 2006, p. 102.↩︎

  7. To urban studies, the related fields of urban design and urban planning could be added, all of which regularly engage with the other fields mentioned. For how these many urban focused disciplines interact, see the excellent essay by Richard T. LeGates, ‘Prologue: How to Study Cities,’ in id. and Frederic Stout (eds.), The City Reader, 7th ed., London: Routledge, 2020, pp. 3-8; for an introduction to urban geography, see Phil Hubbard, City, 2nd ed., London: Routledge, 2018. Key figures and texts are surveyed in Regan Koch and Alan Latham (eds.), Key Thinkers on Cities, London: Sage, 2017; for urban history, see Shane Ewen, What is Urban History?, Cambridge: Polity, 2016; and the growing number of volumes in the Routledge Advances in Urban History series (2017-).↩︎

  8. See several of Skinner’s essays in G. William Skinner, The City in Late Imperial China, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1977; for space syntax, see Bill Hillier and Julienne Hanson, The Social Logic of Space, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984. Examples of this scholarship can be seen in Laura Vaughan, Mapping Society: The Spatial Dimensions of Social Cartography, London: UCL Press, 2018; Sam Griffiths and Alexander von Lünen (eds.), Spatial Cultures: Towards a New Social Morphology of Cities Past and Present, London: Routledge, 2016.↩︎

  9. Pierre Bourdieu, ‘The Berber House or the World Reversed,’ Social Science Information 9/2, 1970, 151–70; Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Boston: Beacon Press, 1994, French 1957; Martin Heidegger, ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ (1951), in Sharon M. Meagher (ed.), Philosophy and the City: Classic to Contemporary Writings, New York: SUNY Press, 2008, pp. 119-25. A broad survey of the literature on the home is provided by Alison Blunt and Robyn Dowling, Home, London: Routledge, 2006. Many key writings can be found in Chiara Briganti and Kathy Mezei (eds.), The Domestic Space Reader, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012.↩︎

  10. A good starting point to this anthropological literature is the essay by Farhan Samanani and Johannes Lenhard, ‘House and Home,’ 2019, in Cambridge Enyclopedia of Anthropology. Available HTTP: <> (accessed 19 March 2021). Although not limited to contributions from anthropologists, see also the collection by Irene Cieraad (ed.), At Home: An Anthropology of Domestic Space, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1999.↩︎

  11. See examples of these approaches in Paul Oliver, Built to Meet Needs: Cultural Issues in Vernacular Architecture, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006; and works such as Annmarie Adams, Architecture in the Family Way: Doctors, Houses, and Women, 1870-1900, Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1996; Alice T. Friedman, Women and the Making of the Modern House: A Social and Architectural History, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998; and Carla Yanni, Living on Campus: An Architectural History of the American Dormitory, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2019. Architectural aspects of the home are often addressed by scholars in neighbouring disciplines, such as in the works by archaeologist Matthew Johnson, Housing Culture: Traditional Architecture in an English Landscape, London: UCL Press, 1993; and id., English Houses 1300-1800: Vernacular Architecture, Social Life, London and New York: Routledge, 2010; see also the chapter by Despina Stratigakos in Bavaj, Lawson and Struck (eds.), Doing Spatial History.↩︎

  12. For an extensive survey, especially on Europe and North America, see the six volumes in the series by Amanda Flather (ed.), A Cultural History of the Home, London: Bloomsbury, 2021.↩︎

  13. Some of the key works in this area include Rose, Feminism and Geography; Daphne Spain, Gendered Spaces, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992; Shirley Ardener (ed.), Women and Space: Ground Rules and Social Maps, 2nd rev. ed., Oxford: Berg, 1993, first published 1981; Dorothy O. Helly and Susan M. Reverby, Gendered Domains: Rethinking Public and Private in Women’s History, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992; David Morley, Home Territories: Media, Mobility and Identity, London: Routledge, 2000; Sarah Pink, Home Truths: Gender, Domestic Objects and Everyday Life, Oxford: Berg, 2004; K. H. Adler and Carrie Hamilton (eds.), Homes and Homecomings: Gendered Histories of Domesticity and Return, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010; Joachim Eibach and Margareth Lanzinger (eds.), The Routledge History of the Domestic Sphere in Europe: 16th to 19th Century, London and New York: Routledge, 2020; John Tosh, A Man’s Place: Masculinity and the Middle-Class Home in Victorian England, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999; and Antoinette Burton, Dwelling in the Archive: Women Writing House, Home, and History in Late Colonial India, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.↩︎

  14. For a survey of some of these debates, see Shelley Mallett, ‘Understanding Home: A Critical Review of the Literature,’ The Sociological Review 52/1, 2004, 62–89.↩︎

  15. Kevin Lynch, The Image of the City, Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1960.↩︎

  16. For a historical take on the cases of evolving form, see Mona Domosh, Invented Cities: The Creation of Landscape in Nineteenth-Century New York and Boston, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996.↩︎

  17. De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, pp. 118-9.↩︎

  18. Raymond Williams, The Country and the City, London: Chatto and Windus, 1973.↩︎

  19. Ibid., p. 311.↩︎

  20. Georg Simmel, ‘The Metropolis and Mental Life,’ in Meagher (ed.), Philosophy and the City, pp. 96-101, here p. 97; Lewis Mumford, ‘What is a City?’ Architectural Record 82, 1937, 59-62.↩︎

  21. Charles Fourier, quoted in Andrew Lees, Cities Perceived: Urban Society in European and American Thought, 1820-1940, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1985, p. 73; S. Frederick Starr, ‘Illusion and Disillusion,’ in T. R. Johnson (ed.), New Orleans: A Literary History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019; Mary Gluck, The Invisible Jewish Budapest: Metropolitan Culture at the Fin de Siècle, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2016; Grace Ellison, quoted in Davide Deriu, ‘A Challenge to the West: British Views of Republican Ankara,’ in Mohammad Gharipour and Nilay Ozlu (eds.), The City in the Muslim World: Depictions by Western Travel Writers, London: Routledge, 2015, p. 283.↩︎

  22. See, for example, Richard Sennett, The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities, London: Faber and Faber, 1991; Lloyd Rodwin and Robert M. Hollister (eds.), Cities of the Mind: Images and Themes of the City in the Social Sciences, New York: Plenum Press, 1984; Alexander C. Diener and Joshua Hagen (eds.), The City as Power: Urban Space, Place, and National Identity, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019; and Ernesto Capello, City at the Center of the World: Space, History, and Modernity in Quito, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.↩︎

  23. See, for example, David Harvey, Paris, Capital of Modernity, New York and London: Routledge, 2006; Emma Hart, Trading Spaces: The Colonial Marketplace and the Foundations of American Capitalism, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2019; Miles Ogborn, Spaces of Modernity: London’s Geographies, 1680-1780, New York: Guilford Press, 1998; Richard Dennis, Cities in Modernity: Representations and Productions of Metropolitan Space, 1840-1930, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008; Leif Jerram, Streetlife: How Cities Made Modern Europe, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011; Joseph W. Esherick (ed.), Remaking the Chinese City: Modernity and National Identity, 1900-1950, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999; Su Lin Lewis, Cities in Motion: Urban Life and Cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia, 1920–1940, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016; Katharina von Ankum, Women in the Metropolis: Gender and Modernity in Weimar Culture, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997; Wen-hsin Yeh, Shanghai Splendor: Economic Sentiments and the Making of Modern China, 1843-1949, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007.↩︎

  24. Carl E. Schorske, Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture, New York: Knopf, 1979, pp. xviii, 33; see also Mark D. Steinberg, Petersburg Fin de Siècle, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011.↩︎

  25. Ash Amin and Stephen Graham, ‘The Ordinary City,’ Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 22, 1997, 411–29.↩︎

  26. Jennifer Robinson, Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development, London: Routledge, 2006; see also Manish Chalana and Jeffrey Hou (ed.), Messy Urbanism: Understanding the ‘Other’ Cities of Asia, Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2017; Gyan Prakash and Kevin M. Kruse (eds.), The Spaces of the Modern City: Imaginaries, Politics, and Everyday Life, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008; Ananya Roy and Nezar AlSayyad, Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia, Lanham: Lexington Books, 2004; and the selection of readings in Faranak Miraftab and Neema Kudva, Cities of the Global South Reader, Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2014. The appreciation of the role of smaller or ‘second’ cities can be seen in works such as David Bell and Mark Jayne (eds.), Small Cities: Urban Experience Beyond the Metropolis, Oxford and New York: Routledge, 2006; as well as Jens Hanssen, Fin de Siècle Beirut: The Making of an Ottoman Provincial Capital, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005; and Louise Young, Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013.↩︎

  27. See D’Souza and McDonough (eds.), The Invisible Flâneuse?; Rita Felski, The Gender of Modernity, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1995; Elizabeth Wilson, The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992; Deborah L. Parsons, Streetwalking the Metropolis: Women, the City and Modernity, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000; Kristine B. Miranne and Alma H. Young (eds.), Gendering the City: Women, Boundaries, and Visions of Urban Life, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000; Alys Eve Weinbaum et al. (eds.), The Modern Girl Around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization, Durham: Duke University Press, 2008; Lin Foxhall and Gabriele Neher (eds.), Gender and the City before Modernity, Malden, Mass.: John Wiley & Sons, 2013; see also Sarah Deutsch, Women and the City: Gender, Space, and Power in Boston, 1870-1940, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000; as well as the chapter by Sarah Deutsch in Bavaj, Lawson and Struck (eds.), Doing Spatial History.↩︎

  28. Judy Giles, The Parlour and the Suburb: Domestic Identities, Class, Femininity and Modernity, Oxford: Berg, 2004; see also Jordan Sand, House and Home in Modern Japan: Reforming Everyday Life 1880-1930, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2003; Elizabeth LaCouture, Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860–1960, New York: Columbia University Press, 2021; Ruth Schwartz Cowan, More Work for Mother: The Ironies of Household Technology from the Open Hearth to the Microwave, New York: Basic Books, 1983.↩︎

  29. Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, New York: Random House, 1961; see Peter Hall, Cities of Tomorrow: An Intellectual History of Urban Planning and Design since 1880, 4th ed., Malden, Mass.: Wiley & Sons, 2014; Stanley Buder, Visionaries and Planners: The Garden City Movement and the Modern Community, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990; Margaret Crawford, Building the Workingman’s Paradise: The Design of American Company Towns, London: Verso, 1995; John R. Gold, The Experience of Modernism: Modern Architects and the Future City, 1928-53, London: E & FN Spon, 1997. Some case study examples include Crowley and Reid (eds.), Socialist Spaces; Kenny Cupers, The Social Project: Housing Postwar France, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014; Marija Drėmaitė, Baltic Modernism: Architecture and Housing in Soviet Lithuania, Berlin: DOM Publishers, 2017; Till Großmann and Philipp Nielsen (eds.), Architecture, Democracy, and Emotions: The Politics of Feeling since 1945, London and New York, Routledge, 2019; Steven E. Harris, Communism on Tomorrow Street: Mass Housing and Everyday Life after Stalin, Washington DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 2013; Owen Hatherley, Landscapes of Communism: A History through Buildings, London: Allen Lane, 2015; Katherine Lebow, Unfinished Utopia: Nowa Huta, Stalinism, and Polish Society, 1949–56, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013; Brigitte Le Normand, Designing Tito’s Capital: Urban Planning, Modernism, and Socialism, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2014; Otto Saumarez Smith, Boom Cities: Architect Planners and the Politics of Radical Urban Renewal in 1960s Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019; Karl Schlögel, Moscow 1937, Cambridge: Polity, 2012, German 2008; Łukasz Stanek, Architecture in Global Socialism: Eastern Europe, West Africa, and the Middle East in the Cold War, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2020.↩︎

  30. Nicole Rudolph, ‘“Who Should Be the Author of a Dwelling?”: Architects versus Housewives in 1950s France,’ in Adler and Hamilton, Homes and Homecomings, pp. 87-105; see also Dolores Hayden, The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities, Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1981; id., Redesigning the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work, and Family Life, New York: W.W. Norton, 1984; Gwendolyn Wright, Moralism and the Model Home: Domestic Architecture and Cultural Conflict in Chicago, 1873-1913, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1980.↩︎

  31. Sand, House and Home in Modern Japan, p. 237; see also Ken Tadashi Oshima, ‘Denenchōfu: Building the Garden City in Japan,’ Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 55/2, 1996, 140–51; for more on suburbs, see Nikhil Rao, House, but No Garden: Apartment Living in Bombay’s Suburbs, 1898-1964, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013; Robert Fishman, Bourgeois Utopias: The Rise and Fall Of Suburbia, New York: Basic Books, 1987; Kenneth T. Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States, New York: Oxford University Press, 1985; Dolores Hayden, Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000, New York: Pantheon Books, 2003; and the interdisciplinary collection of documents and essays in Becky M. Nicolaides and Andrew Wiese (eds.), The Suburb Reader, New York and London: Routledge, 2006; see also Becky M. Nicolaides, My Blue Heaven: Life and Politics in the Working-Class Suburbs of Los Angeles, 1920-1965, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2002; Andrew Wiese, Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2004; Timothy P. Fong, The First Suburban Chinatown: The Remaking of Monterey Park, California, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994.↩︎

  32. The literature on this is vast. See here Carl H. Nightingale, Segregation: A Global History of Divided Cities, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2012; Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Rabat: Urban Apartheid in Morocco, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980; Arnold R. Hirsch, Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago, 1940-1960, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983; Nayan Shah, Contagious Divides: Epidemics and Race in San Francisco’s Chinatown, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001; Emily Honig, Creating Chinese Ethnicity: Subei People in Shanghai, 1850-1980, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992; Dana E. Katz, The Jewish Ghetto and the Visual Imagination of Early Modern Venice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.↩︎

  33. George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940, New York: Basic Books, 1994, p. 23; see also David Higgs (ed.), Queer Sites: Gay Urban Histories since 1600, London: Routledge, 1999; Matt Houlbrook, Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005; Simon Avery and Katherine M. Graham, (eds.), Sex, Time and Place: Queer Histories of London, c.1850 to the Present, London: Bloomsbury, 2016; Christina B. Hanhardt, Safe Space: Gay Neighborhood History and the Politics of Violence, Durham: Duke University Press, 2013; Nan Alamilla Boyd, Wide-Open Town: A History of Queer San Francisco to 1965, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003; Jennifer V. Evans and Matt Cook (eds.), Queer Cities, Queer Cultures: Europe since 1945, London: Bloomsbury, 2014; Anita Kurimay, Queer Budapest, 1873-1961, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2020.↩︎

  34. See, for example, Anthony D. King, Colonial Urban Development: Culture, Social Power and Environment, London: Routledge, 1976; id., Urbanism, Colonialism, and the World-Economy: Cultural and Spatial Foundations of the World Urban System, Oxford: Routledge, 1990. Compare these works with his very different cultural history of the bungalow: The Bungalow: The Production of a Global Culture, London: Routledge, 1984.↩︎

  35. Garth Andrew Myers, Verandahs of Power: Colonialism and Space in Urban Africa, Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003; William Cunningham Bissell, Urban Design, Chaos, and Colonial Power in Zanzibar, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011; for an example of exploring imperial spaces in the metropoles, see Felix Driver and David Gilbert (eds.), Imperial Cities: Landscape, Display and Identity, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999; see also Stephen Legg, Spaces of Colonialism: Dehli’s Urban Governmentalities, Oxford: Blackwell, 2007; Jay Kinsbruner, The Colonial Spanish-American City: Urban Life in the Age of Atlantic Capitalism, Austin: University of Texas Press, 2005; Robert K. Home, Of Planting and Planning: The Making of British Colonial Cities, London: E & FN Spon, 1997; and the superb article by Jeremy E. Taylor, ‘The Bund: Littoral Space of Empire in the Treaty Ports of East Asia,’ Social History 27/2, 2002, 125–42.↩︎

  36. Swati Chattopadhyay, Representing Calcutta: Modernity, Nationalism, and the Colonial Uncanny, London: Routledge, 2005.↩︎

  37. Ibid., p. 92.↩︎

  38. Joseph R. Allen, Taipei: City of Displacements, Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 2012.↩︎

  39. Todd A. Henry, Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910–1945, Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014, p. 4. The much longer history of urban spaces in East Asia is a rich field. Two strong examples from the case of China include Paul Wheatley, The Pivot of the Four Quarters: A Preliminary Enquiry into the Origins and Character of the Ancient Chinese City, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1971; and Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Chinese Imperial City Planning, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1990.↩︎

  40. Brenda S. A. Yeoh, Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment, Singapore: NUS Press, 2003, first published 1996, p. 10.↩︎

  41. Ibid., p. 40; for a critique of overemphasising these origin moments for colonial cities, see Chattopadhyay Representing Calcutta, p. 10.↩︎

  42. Yeoh, Contesting Space, p. 82.↩︎

  43. Ibid., pp. 146-8.↩︎

  44. Ibid., pp. 148-57.↩︎

  45. Ibid., chapter 5.↩︎

  46. Ibid., p. 215.↩︎

  47. Ibid., p. 231.↩︎

  48. Ibid., p. 247.↩︎

  49. Ibid., p. 250.↩︎

  50. De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, pp. 97-9.↩︎