De publicatie Heterotopia and the City. Public Space in a Postcivil Society behandelt het concept van heterotopie: stedelijke ruimten die multipele, gefragmenteerde betekenissen in zich dragen. Zowel theoretische bijdragen over het concept als case studies over bijvoorbeeld Jakarta of Dubai komen daarbij aan bod.
Heterotopia, literally meaning 'other places', is a rich concept in urban design that describes a world off-center with respect to normal or everyday spaces, one that possesses multiple, fragmented, or even incompatible meanings. The term has had an impact on architectural and urban theory since it was coined by Foucault in the late 1960s but has remained a source of confusion and debate since. Heterotopia and the City seeks to clarify this concept and investigates the heterotopias which exist throughout our contemporary world: in museums, theme parks, malls, holiday resorts, gated communities, wellness hotels, and festival markets.
The book combines theoretical contributions on the concept of heterotopia, including a new translation of Foucault's influential 1967 text, Of Other Spaces, with a series of critical case studies that probe a range of (post-) urban transformations, from the 'malling' of the agora, through the 'gating' of dwelling, to the 'theming' of urban renewal. Wastelands and terrains vagues are explored as sites of promise and resistance in a section on urban activism and transgression. The reader gets a glimpse of the extremes of our dualized, postcivil condition through case studies on Jakarta, Dubai, and Kinshasa. Heterotopia and the City provides a collective effort to reposition heterotopia as a crucial concept for contemporary urban theory and redirects the current debate on the privatization of public space. The book will be of interest to all those wishing to understand the city in the emerging postcivil society and posthistorical era. Planners, architects, cultural theorists, urbanists, and academics will find this a valuable contribution to current critical argument.