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Chapter 2 From Urban Sprawl to Sustainable Cities: A Neighborhood Perspective in Urban Studies

Everyday Life in the Segmented City

ISBN: 978-1-78052-258-6, eISBN: 978-1-78052-259-3

ISSN: 1047-0042

Publication date: 10 November 2011


In this chapter, we suggest a neighborhood perspective as a possible way to ‘react’ to some suburban trends that characterize the city today. We mention some of these trends and focus on their social and environmental impact. Our aim is to ecologically pose the centrality of sociospatial organization in the city; such organization, indeed, is fundamental to think to more sustainable forms as a countertrend to urban sprawl. On one side, we consider the works of Barry Wellman in order to show that community is more and more disconnected to a particular space or place. On the other side, we consider the contribution of Robert Sampson to stress the centrality of the concept of neighborhood, which has been made free from the ‘community rhetoric’ of strong ties in urban studies. Sampson gives a particular importance to collective efficacy, which he suggests as the tool through which a high quality of life can be pursued in urban neighborhoods. So, these studies stress the organizational and ecological aspects instead of the ones connected to strong local ties. In the final part, we suggest that our perspective is also very useful in order to give substance to the idea of a dense city as a mosaic/network of neighborhoods, a city where social mixitè is a binding element.



Castrignanò, M. and Manella, G. (2011), "Chapter 2 From Urban Sprawl to Sustainable Cities: A Neighborhood Perspective in Urban Studies", Perrone, C., Manella, G. and Tripodi, L. (Ed.) Everyday Life in the Segmented City (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 27-40.



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