Valverde chapter 'Urban Legal Forms and Practices of Citizenship' available via open access

May 1, 2023 by Patricia Doherty

Grammars of the Urban Ground, edited by Ash Amin and Michele Lancione, centres on "develop[ing] a new conceptual framework and vocabulary for capturing the complex, ever-shifting, and interactive processes that shape contemporary cities." 

The book features contributions from many authors, including "Urban Legal Forms and Practices of Citizenship" from CrimSL's Professor Mariana Valverde. The chapter delves into "how legal mechanisms actually work ... to shape urban experiences" looking specifically at contracts, restrictive covenants, urban park bylaws, and technical standards.

Grammars of the Urban Ground was published by Duke University Press in 2022 and is freely available in an open access edition made possible by a generous contribution from the British Academy.

About the book

The contributors to Grammars of the Urban Ground build on Marxist, feminist, queer, and critical race theory as well as the ontological turn in urban studies. They propose a mode of analysis that resists the staple of siloed categories such as urban “economy,” “society,” and “politics.” In addition to addressing key concepts of urban studies such as dispossession and scale, the contributors examine the infrastructures of plutocratic life in London, reconfigure notions of gentrification as a process of racial banishment, and seek out alternative archives for knowledge about urban density. They also present case studies of city life in the margins and peripheries of São Paulo, Kinshasa, Nairobi, and Jakarta. In so doing, they offer a foundation for better understanding the connective and aggregative forces of city-making and the entanglements and relations that constitute cities and their everyday politics.


Ash Amin, Teresa Caldeira, Filip De Boeck, Suzanne Hall, Caroline Knowles, Michele Lancione, Colin McFarlane, Natalie Oswin, Edgar Pieterse, Ananya Roy, AbdouMaliq Simone, Tatiana Thieme, Nigel Thrift, Mariana Valverde.