Many Urbanisms: Divergent Trajectories of Global City Building documents the origins of contemporary global urbanism. In the 1980s and 1990s, Dr. Murray witnessed the political protests occuring in the rural countryside of South Africa. This significant divide compelled Dr. Murray to unpack the relations between white farm owners and black workers. There, he discovered the bulk of the political protests were urban. From xenophobia and immigration to capitalism and consumption, Johannesburg was the template for urban issues globally.

Many Urbanisms distinguishes four pathways of city building after the collapse of modernist ideals. First, there are the industrial entertainment cities designed for tourism. Relevant examples consist of New York, Paris, and Madrid. Second, the post-industrial cities commonly perceived as exemplars of failed urbanism, such as Detroit, Gary, and Flint. The third is followed by megacities of hypergrowth, namely Lagos, Mexico City, and Manila. The fourth and final kind are instant cities, cities that seemingly sprout out of nowhere, akin to Dubai and Lagos’ Eko Atlantic. Furthermore, the book investigates the cities’ abandonment of coherent and unified cores in exchange for its current series of fragments. Informative and illuminating, Many Urbanisms stands firm as a rich multicultural guide to understanding global urbanization in our modern climate. 

About The Author

Dr. Martin J. Murray is a sociologist and professor of Urban Planning at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. In addition, Dr. Murray is an adjunct professor in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts’ Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. His previously written works include The Urbanism of Exception: The Dynamics of Global City Building in the Twenty-First Century (2017) and Panic City: Crime and the Fear Industries in Johannesburg (2020).