Designed as an introductory text for students at universities, colleges and polytechnics, this book describes the various approaches which geographers have applied to the study of urban areas over the years. It aims to integrate the study of cities and urbanism to a wider view of how society works, showing how social theories can be brought to bear on the analysis of the city and how an understanding of cities can enrich our view of society. By making students aware of the variety in the urban condition, it gives them a greater appreciation of the social context of urban living and provides a fresh insight into that generator of economic, social and political change, the city.
The text is broad in scope, and makes full use of the cross-cultural approach, drawing upon the wide range of the urban experience around the world. It also concerns itself with the redistributional consequences of urban patterns and social processes, and analyses the impact that public policy has in shaping urban areas, showing that the role of government is a key element in the analysis.