Aspects of African biodiversity : proceedings of the Pan by J O Midiwo; J M Clough; Royal Society of Chemistry (Great

By J O Midiwo; J M Clough; Royal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain)

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Their identities have never been fixed, however. The shifting boundary between kin and stranger, native and foreign, us and them, invites critical reflection on the aspirations toward civility and cosmopolitanism in the present-day city’s aspirations to remedy a long history of exclusion while still policing economic and political borders. 8 • i m a g i n i n g t h e e d gy c i t y Civil, Cosmopolitan, and Other Terms of Urban Hospitality Upstart cities in the North as well as the South have challenged the norms of modernity and civility in the North by demonstrating the constitutive character of tensions between civil and uncivil modernity in urban life.

2006; Alexander 2010). The urban improvement projects sponsored by the JDA over the last decade have shaped urban space in different ways, from the quotidian—enhancing parks and government and community surveillance, and cultivating “desire lines,” or informal pedestrian pathways (Shepherd and Murray 2007)—to the spectacular landmark institutions such as Constitution Hill. Nonetheless, overall planning has been hampered by organized resistance (such as the taxi companies’ aggressive acts against Bus Rapid Transit structures and employees), as well as apparently disorganized but persistent practices of irregular and dangerous occupation of inner-city property as well as the illegal networks that enable this irregularity.

Urbanists since Lewis Mumford, who saw the city circa 1936 as “the scene of social drama” (1996 [1937], 185), routinely use the language of theatre, from tragedy to playfulness, but do not ground their metaphors in performance and its contexts. The persistence of performance in urbanist discourse highlights not only the contribution of embodied practices to the life and meaning of the city, but also the tension between order and disruption, between the modern civility of the urban planners and the uncivil modernity of the edgy city.

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