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Secure city
 

Secure city

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    Secure city Secure city Presentation Transcript

    • Secure Cities Prof. Steve Graham Newcastle University Steve.graham@ncl.ac.uk
    • Politics of Security and Resilience are as old as cities!
    • 1. Introduction: Urbanization, ‘Security’ and ‘Resilience’ •  2007 50% of world’s population live in urban area. •  These 3.3 billion people concentrated on 2.4% of earth’s surface •  75% global population urban by 2050; growth overwhelmingly in the Global South •  This has huge implications for the geography and politics of risks and vulnerability in today’s world
    • 2. Concepts of ‘Security’ and “Resilience”? •  ‘Security’ (Oxford English Dictionary) •  /noun (plural securities)1 [mass noun] the state of being free from danger or threat:the system is designed to provide maximum security against toxic spills job security the safety of a state or organization against criminal activity such as terrorism, theft, or espionage:a matter of national security procedures followed or measures taken to ensure the security of a state or organization:amid tight security the presidents met in the Colombian resort the state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety:this man could give her the emotional security she needed
    • The Vulnerability of Contemporary Cities •  Cities rely on spectrum of mobilities, flows and connections, obvious and hidden, to sustain ‘normal’ urban life •  Urbanites "are particularly at risk when their complex and sophisticated infrastructure systems are destroyed and rendered inoperable, or when they become isolated from external contacts" (Barakat, 1998) •  Usually few or no alternatives; increasingly tightly-coupled and multi-scale interdependencies: ‘cascade effects’ (e.g. electricity) •  Exposure to social, technological, ‘natural’ risks in cities is both very uneven and socially and politically manufactured
    • Bill Joy: When Turning Off Becomes Suicide •  Bill Joy, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, caused a furore amongst, suggested that the mediation of human societies by astonishingly complex computerised infrastructure systems will soon reach the stage when "people won't be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide" (2000, 239).
    • ‘Securitisation’ •  Definition of ideas of security, risk and threat is profoundly political •  Some threats to cities (terrorism) become a political obsession; others (2m annual deaths through traffic accidents) are largely ignored •  ‘Securitisation’ is the process through which elites call attention to certain alleged risks as a focus of government action •  Idea developed by political theorists at Copenhagen University •  Different and CONFLICTING ideas of security: ‘national security; ‘urban security’, ‘human security’ etc
    • Who’s security from what in the city? A political question!!!
    • Need human concept of security – attending to the social, psychological, material, educational, food, water, energy and economic needs of 7 billion humans and 3 ½ billion urbanites – rather than hard-edged militarised notion of security
    • ‘Resilience’ •  Word increasingly common in debates about climate change, sustainability, ‘peak oil’, water, food and energy crises, economic collapse, social polarisation, urban infrastructure etc. •  Originally a physical sciences term: “the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched” (dictionary.reference.com) •  Also used to describe ability of ecological communities to withstand crises and shocks •  Now ‘migrating’ to dominate debates about cities, risk, vulnerability and security
    • Dominant Urban Policy for ‘Resilience’ •  More of the same! Restarting flows and mobilities for elites, global business, tourism, trade etc. within ‘neoliberal’ framework •  But only certain risks, threats and crises, to certain privileged parts of cities, tend to be of concern
    • •  Poorest communities usually most vulnerable to technological risks (Bhopal disaster, India, top left, 1984), political violence and war, social risks and ‘natural’ hazards (landslide in Rio favela, top right)
    • •  But ‘Critical infrastructure protection’ usually geared towards needs of global business (airports, high-tech parks, financial centres) •  ‘Emergency planning’ centres on disruptions to disruptions to city formal economies through terrorism, technical failure or ‘natural’ disasters •  In other words, which risks and ;security’ threats are of concern is a political, not a technical decision
    • Of course for a billion urbanites or more, infrastructural failure, exclusion and precarity is perpetually and profoundly visible & imprivisation is constant Infrastructures have “always been foregrounded in the lives of more precarious social groups — i.e. those with reduced access or without access or who have been disconnected, as a result either of sociospatial differentiation strategies or infrastructure crises or collapse.” Colin McFarlane and Jonathan Rutherford (2008)
    • •  Climate change accentuating hurricanes •  Hitting a city denuded of natural protection and •  Very poorly covered by a levee network that was systematically racially biased over centuries of constructed socio-nature in context of a •  A Neoconservative and racist Federal Government that had systematically skewed Emergency Planning towards terrorism for political ends
    • 2005 Katrina Disaster: “There is No Such Thing as a Natural Disaster” •  Gregory Squires and Chester Hartman
    • 3. Case Study: ‘Security, ‘Resilience’ and Hurricane Katrina •  Watch the two videos: the BBC news report and ‘the Katrina Myth: The Truth About a Thoroughly Unnatural Disaster’. As you watch these, note down: •  (1) what the second video considers to be Thoroughly Unnatural about the disaster? •  (2) the social aspects of risk and vulnerability in New Orleans that the disaster exposed; and •  (3) what might a socially progressive or pro-poor policy of urban resilience might look like in New Orleans in the future?
    • 4. Conclusion: The Politics of Urban ‘Resilience’ •  A critical perspective challenges notions of ‘natural disaster’, ‘technical’ failure etc. •  Politics of urban resilience remain hidden continued modernist binaries: cities and nature; cities and ‘the environment’, ‘NorthSouth’, ‘peace/war’, ‘inside’/’outside’ of nations etc. •  Need to traces and politics of the ‘cyborg city’ and its vulnerabilities •  Need to explore how conventional policy responses to ‘security’ threats merely work to protect ‘normal’ circulations and mobilities of the privileged whilst ignoring those faced by marginal communities •  Need a radical politics of ‘resilience’ which addresses environmental and social injustice and the need to build resilient cities through addressing these, within the context of an extremely challenging context involving climate change, sea-level rises, food, water and energy crises, ‘peak oil’.
    • References •  •  •  •  •  •  Barakat, Seymore ‘City war zones, Urban Age, Spring, 1999, 11-19. Gandy, Matthew (2005), “Cyborg urbanization: Complexity and monstrosity in the contemporary city,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 29.1 March, 2005, 26-49. Graham, S. (2009), (ed.), Disrupted Cities: When Infrastructure Fails, Routledge: New York. Introduction plus Chapters by Keil and Harris Ali, Luke, Marvin and Medd, McFarlane. Joy, W. (2000), “Why the future doesn’t need us”, Wired, April, 238-260, pp. 238. McFarlane, Colin and Rutherford, Jonathan (2008), “Political Infrastructures: Governing and Experiencing the Fabric of the City,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 32.2 June 2008 363–74 Swyngedouw, Eric (1993), "Communication, mobility and the struggle for power over space". In Giannopoulos, G. and Gillespie, A. (1993) Transport and Communications in the New Europe, London : Belhaven., 305-325.
    • Recap
    • Assessment 3,500 essay to be handed in on 12th January 2012 by 12 noon “The way cities expand and organize themselves, both in developed and developing countries will be critical for humanity.”(The State of World Population 2007 Report, U.N. Population Fund, United Nations: New York). Discuss this statement addressing either the social, economic, environmental or cultural aspects of cities and urbanization. Illustrate your discussion with examples. In your conclusions, draw out some of the implications of your discussion for urban planning and management.
    • •  “The way cities expand and organize themselves, both in developed and developing countries will be critical for humanity.”(The State of World Population 2007 Report, U.N. Population Fund, United Nations: New York). •  Discuss this statement addressing either the social, economic, environmental or cultural aspects of cities and urbanization. •  Illustrate your discussion with examples. •  In your conclusions, draw out some of the implications of your discussion for urban planning and management.