The Identity of the City

  • Ali MadanipourEmail author
Part of the Urban and Landscape Perspectives book series (URBANLAND, volume 14)


In the age of globalisation, urban populations have been concerned by the intensification of urban change, being overwhelmed by the pace and scale of change imposed on localities from the outside, eroding local identities at the expense of alien ideas and forces. The sense of identity across time and space is a social process drawing on the relations of similarity and difference, developed as narratives told from a perspective. Identity processes pose particular anxieties and challenges: whether and how a place can remain the same through time while going through necessary change; how a place can remain unique while also belonging to a group of similar places under the pressure for homogenisation. The way to manage these pressures and develop a secure sense of identity, the chapter argues, is through democratic management of change, which should facilitate democratic control over the substance, pace and representations of change, made possible through ‘dynamic multiplicity’, which is purposeful involvement of many voices over time.


Urban identity Personal identity Globalisation Homogenisation Dynamic multiplicity Democracy Cartesian dualism Narrative Similarity Difference Urban transformation 


  1. Arendt H (1958) The human condition. University of Chicago Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  2. Bourdieu P (2000) Pascalian meditations. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  3. Briggs A (1968) Victorian cities. Penguin, MiddlesexGoogle Scholar
  4. Castells M (1996) The rise of the network society. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  5. Conzen MRG (1960) Alnwick, Northumberland, a study in town-plan analysis. IBG, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Cottingham J (1992a) Cartesian dualism: theology, metaphysics, and science. In: Cottingham J (ed) The Cambridge companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 236–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cottingham J (1992b) Introduction. In: Cottingham J (ed) The Cambridge companion to Descartes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Descartes R (1968) Discourse on method and the meditations. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  9. Freud S (1985) Civilization, society and religion. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Goffman E (1969) The presentation of self in everyday life. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. Greenfield S (2000) The private life of the brain. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Jenkins R (1996) Social identity. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  13. Knox P (2005) Creating ordinary places: slow cities in a fast world. J Urban Des 10(1):1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Latour B (1993) We have never been modern. Harvester Wheatsheaf, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Lefebvre H (1991) Production of space. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  16. Madanipour A (1996) Design of urban space. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  17. Madanipour A (2003) Public and private spaces of cities. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Madanipour A (2007) Designing the city of reason. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  19. Madanipour A, Cars G, Allen J (eds) (2003) Social exclusion in European cities. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  20. Maffesoli M (1996) The times of the tribes. Sage, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Mill JS (1974) On liberty. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Olson E (2003) Personal Identity. In: Stich S, Warfield T (eds) The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Oxford, Blackwell, pp 352–368Google Scholar
  23. Ricoeur P (1995) Oneself as another. Chicago University Press, ChicagoGoogle Scholar
  24. Schacht R (1996) Nietzsche’s kind of philosophy. In: Magnus B, Higgins K (eds) The Cambridge companion to Nietzsche. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  25. Searle J (1995) The construction of social reality. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
  26. Searle J (1999) Mind, language and society: philosophy in the real world. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. Slow Food (2006) Introduction, Slow Food. Accessed 1 Mar 2006
  28. Whitehand JWR (1987) Recent developments in urban morphology. In: Denecke D, Shaw G (eds) Urban historical geography: recent progress in Britain and Germany. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 285–296Google Scholar
  29. Žižek S (1999) The ticklish subject: the absent centre of political ontology. Verso, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Architecture, Planning and LandscapeNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations