The Second Culture of Cities

  • Juval PortugaliEmail author
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


In the early 1970s we see a rather unusual development in the domain of urban studies: Some of the leading urbanists of the quantitative-positivistic “conviction” that dominated the discipline in the 1950s and 1960s started to question the scientific and social validity of their own project. The most prominent among them was David Harvey (1973) with his Social Justice and the City – a book that produced the most influential critique to date of positivist urban studies, that is to say, of the first culture of cities. Harvey’s attack came from a Marxist-Structuralist standpoint. Others attacked positivistic geography and urbanism from phenomenological and idealistic positions that later came under the title of humanistic geography. Together these two lines of criticism formed what I’ll refer to below as SMH (Structuralist-Marxist and Humanistic) urban studies. Sect. 3.2 surveys the field of SMH urban studies.


Social Theory Capitalist Society Urban Study Social Validity Capitalist Mode 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept. of Geography and the Human EnvironmentTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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