By Ash Amin, Nigel Thrift
This booklet develops a clean and difficult standpoint at the urban. Drawing on a large and numerous variety of fabric and texts, it argues that an excessive amount of modern city idea relies on nostalgia for a humane, face-to-face and bounded urban. Amin and Thrift keep that the normal divide among the town and the remainder of the area has been perforated via city encroachment, the thickening of the hyperlinks among the 2, and urbanization as a life-style.
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Additional info for Cities: Reimaging the Urban: Reimagining the Urban
In the new economy, trust and complementarity will drive success, since 'ideas for new products usually emerge from teams of people drawing together different expertise' (Leadbeater 1999: 13). As our interest here is in the spatiality of the economy, we do not wish to comment on this broader vision in any detail. Against the hyperbole, however, we would highlight the enduring demand for standardized and tangible goods; the danger of confusing the digitization of communica tions with the dematerialization of economic transactions (at the end of the wire lie tangible people and tangible goods and services); the persist ence in many occupations (such as teaching, public services) of careers and work-based ideologies; the continuation of values of public service, admittedly with an extra dose of entrepreneurialism and increased job mobility; and the continuing value of an older grounded know-how- for instance, in retail and distribution, the care sectors, production and per sonal services, and in servicing the knowledge economy itself (see Amin, Massey and Thrift 2000).
The rapid rise of such distribution centres in recent years is related to the growth of domin ant business corporations, global supply chains, time and cost saving logistics, IT-based management systems, and minimized storage at CITIES AS SITES factories and retail outlets. For example, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, major UK supermarket chains such as Tesco and Safeway moved to sales-based ordering (allowed by barcode scanning at checkouts) of stock held at their own distribution centres (which replaced wholesalers and direct store deliveries from manufacturers).
64 CITIES IN A DIST ANCIATED ECONOMY Sites in near-far networks Let us examine the geography of three spaces to illustrate the varied role of urban sites within now routinely distanciated networks of economic organization: the space of transnational corporations; the geography of supposedly place-based creative industries such as advertising; and elec tronic space. There is a vast body of literature on the economic power of trans national corporations (TNCs). According to UNCTAD, there were in 1997 some 44,000 TNCs with almost 280,000 foreign affiliates.
Cities: Reimaging the Urban: Reimagining the Urban by Ash Amin, Nigel Thrift