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In 2008 Simone Giometti, Secretary General of the Fondazione Romualdo Del Bianco in Florence, asked if I would organize a conference on The New Urban Sociology (the title taken from the third edition of the textbook co-authored with Mark Gottdiener). Later that year I organized three sessions for a symposium on The Tourist City as part of the Florence Expo celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Foundation (November 14–18, 2008). At the conclusion of the Florence Expo, a group of scholars associated with the Del Bianco Foundation, faculty from the University of Florence, and members of INURA (International Network for Urban Research and Action) met to plan a conference on Henri Lefebvre and the New Urban Sociology – the working title for the conference. After two days of discussion held at the library of the National Institute of Renaissance Studies in the Palazzo Strozzi, it was decided that the conference should be titled Everyday Life in the Segmented City, reflecting very well the breadth of study and wealth of ideas that one finds in Henri Lefebvre's many contributions to urban sociology.
Some chapters provide us with a snapshot (intentional) of ethnic community across the city. Others look closely at a particular place. Still others look across the whole ethnic landscape of the city. Neither individually nor as a whole collection do they form a complete picture. But perhaps because they are so eclectic maybe they form a challenge to urban sociology to exam not just macro level change in urban form and metropolitan space, but to apply other methodologies to better understand the increasingly complex, unfocused mosaic of social worlds in the American city.