Architecture, The City, and Globalization

Social Justice and the City is a book written by David Harvey which relates geographical planning and development to social aspects we see every day.  Towards the end of the book Harvey writes about a topic he titles “Urbanism in the City”.  In this chapter Harvey talks mostly about how the structure and layouts of cities affects the economy of that particular city.  Harvey references the Roman Empire and how the expansion of the empire caused flaws in the structure of the city.  Also Harvey brings up the point that capitalism has a tendency to create large city style living which is something design and architecture affects heavily.  Capitalism also relies on city style living to help it thrive.  Although the majority of this book doesn’t refer strictly to architecture and globalization as a package, much of the book does show evidence and raise points which say that the two are very connected and affect each other greatly.

There is no better example of a society thriving off of its great architecture and structural design than the Ancient Romans, something Harvey talks a lot about.  I plan on using this example from the past to prove how city designing can greatly affect not just that city but the entire surrounding area.  Architecture and city design affects so many things in our everyday lives we do not even recognize such as transportation, living conditions, distribution of food, etc.  All of these things have a greater impact on the world.  Perhaps the biggest thing architecture affects that truly is a globalized concept is the economy.  Architecture has much more of an impact on the world economy than most people know.  David Harvey recognized this though, while writing his book and he exploits in many ways how the economy is affected by city structures and building layouts.  One of the most common things we know from Giddens points of globalization is his idea of a trust system, cities are, in a literal way, built on trust systems with the economy and how people will choose to live.  People trust in city designing in order to find a place to live whether it be through rent control or controlled pricing, and building/apartment planners trust in people occupying the space they are providing for.  Architecture relates to globalization in so many unrecognized ways and my plan is to exploit these ways in order to gain more of an appreciation for the designing of the places we live and the different styles of architecture all over the world.

One thought on “Architecture, The City, and Globalization

  1. It is very fascinating to think about the architectural greatness of great cities such as Rome and how the layout affects their economy, especially considering I have lived in Delaware my whole life! “People trust in city designing in order to find a place to live…” I strongly agree with your statement here because when people are looking for a place to make a life of their own, they are definitely going to take into consideration the layout of the city that they are planning on residing in to make sure it fits their personal living wants and needs. When you relate this idea to trust, I immediately think of how Giddens mentions that trust and risk are intertwined. “In all trust settings, acceptable risk falls under the heading of ‘weak inductive knowledge,’ and there is virtually always a balance between trust and the calculation of risk in this sense.”(Giddens, 35) At this age, it’s hard to imagine all of the risk factors involved in choosing where to live. What might these factors include?


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