Through the example of the U Street block in Washington, D.C., the noted American urbanist shows that urban “contact zones” in which people disunited by racial, ethic, confessional and class conflicts are living side by side, serve as generators of new adaptive strategies. The inexhaustible source of viability and flexibility of these communities lies in the need for survival in the conditions of “deliberate social complexity”. It is precisely this experience that enables such communities effectively to adapt to the aftermaths of natural calamities and social conflicts.
The United Nations estimates that by 2030, more than two-thirds of the total world population will live in urban areas. Most of this increase will take place not in Europe or in the United States but in the megacities and newly emerging urban regions of what used to be called the developing world. Urban studies is an expansive and growing field, covering many disciplines and professional fields, each with its own schedule of conferences, journals, and publication series. These two volumes address the specific theories, key studies, and important figures that have influenced not just the individual discipline but also the field of urban studies more generally. The Encyclopedia of Urban Studies is intended to present an overview of current work in the field and to serve as a guide for further reading in the field.