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Urban growth machine

Rodgers, Scott (2009) Urban growth machine. In: Kitchin, R. and Thrift, N. (eds.) The International Encylopedia of Human Geography. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier, pp. 40-45. ISBN 9780080449111.

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Urban growth machine is an influential thesis of urban politics that suggests the objective of growth unites otherwise pluralistic interests in relation to a city. The thesis is situated within a broader theory about the commodification of place, where place is understood to be socially and economically valued land. Its key premise is that coalitions of actors and organizations (i.e. growth machines), all sharing an interest in local growth and its effects on land values, compete with growth machines elsewhere for scarce mobile capital investment, while simultaneously attempting to gain the tacit support of local publics for such urban growth. Following an introductory overview, this entry discusses the urban growth machine in two main parts. The first part sets out the key concepts underlying the growth machine thesis: use value, exchange value and place; place entrepreneurs; growth machines and their allies; competing for mobile capital; and promoting growth as a public good. The second part identifies core issues and debates in relation to the thesis (particularly those made by human geographers), including critiques of: the property focus; the human agency focus; difficulties with international comparison; the conceptualization of local dependency and scale; and the relationship of political projects with local feeling.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: "This article was published in The International Encylopedia of Human Geography, Kitchin, R.; Thrift, N. (Eds.), Copyright Elsevier 2009".
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): cities, competition, exchange value, governance, growth, land, local, place, politics, property, scale, social construction, sociology, urban, use value
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > Film, Media and Cultural Studies
Depositing User: Scott Rodgers
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2012 09:41
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 11:14

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