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Cities in Relations

Ola Söderström

Cities in Relations advances a novel way of thinking about urban transformation by focusing on transnational relations in the least developed countries.

- Examines the last 20 years of urban development in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
- Considers the ways in which a city’s relationships with other places influences its urban development
- Provides fresh ideas for comparative urban studies that move beyond discussions of economic and policy factors
- Offers a clear and concise narrative accompanied by more than 45 photos and maps

Author Information
Ola Söderström is Professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the Institute of Geography, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He has published extensively on urban material culture, visual thinking in urban planning, and urban globalization. His current research focuses on a comparative ethnography of contemporary urban ways of life. He is the co-author of Urban Cosmographies (2009) and the co-editor of Critical Mobilities (2013) and Re-shaping Cities: How Global Mobility Transforms Architecture and Urban Form (2010).

Cities in Relations is a book of immense methodological and political importance. At a time when neoliberalism and globalization are thought to shape much of urban life, Ola Söderström offers a more imaginative way to grasp what is distinctive about worldly cities. The book is an invitation to urban studies to think again about the bases for comparison in a world where cities beyond the West have to negotiate different ways of being global.’
— John Allen, Professor of Economic Geography, The Open University, UK

'The idea that urbanism is relational is by now taken for granted, but what is far less common are detailed accounts of the forms, politics and implications of relationality, especially for cities too often neglected in urban theory. Through detailed and nuanced discussion of two quite different contexts – Hanoi and Ouagadougou - Söderström’s rigorous and lively book provides an insightful investigation of the variegated and increasingly translocal politics of urban development, and offers important contributions to debates on both relational and comparative urbanism.’
— Colin McFarlane, Reader in Human Geography, Durham University, UK