April 11, 2005

skim reading Eur Urb Reg St

Spent about three hours today skim-reading the last 4 years of European Urban and Regional Studies. Maybe it was the filter I was reading with, but everything seemed to be about institutionalist perspectives. Is that the hot new thing in Europe, or is it just an anomaly?

I have to get better at skimming or I will never get anywhere in academic life. I get sidetracked constantly by interesting or potentially-in-the-future interesting articles.

A good article by Ugo Rossi (which I would have skimmed right over if it had come up later in the morning) gives an overview (and good references) of the major approaches to studying urban governance.

Most of what I collected was empirical work that would be good to be aware of for dissertation background. It doesn't really relate to my prelim subjects. (That in and of itself is weird and probably points to a problem in how the prelim questions are set up.)

Network theory is also cited a few times, especially in the last year. Is that a promising avenue for spatial planning, and if so, how?

Then there was an article by John Ploger on discursive planning. It's the first time I've heard that phrase, although the concept and analytical method make sense to me. It's more about urban geography (epistemology) than planning though, isn't it?

After my brain was fried with THAT, I went up to my office and skimmed about 50 pp of the Soviet urban geography review that I started reading ages ago. It's a very 50s/60s quant revolution approach to urban geography - same as the articles in Geografica Polonia I've read. The "theoretical turn" hasn't made it to eastern and central Europe yet, apparently: they are still preoccupied with real problems such as reindustrialization and unemployment and don't have time to contemplate their navels. Of course, we have big problems in the US too - it's just that lots of geographers apparently have given up on searching for solutions in favor of a trip down Theory Lane.

Posted by otto0114 at April 11, 2005 2:33 PM