Global Cities 2017

Walking between slums and skyscrapers of neoliberal urbanism


Which Way the City?

Virtual Global Cities Project 2017

This virtual tour through a selection of global cities in these web portfolios. Two analytical dimensions focus our critical lens: vernacular and transnational urbanism (in architecture, commerce, consumer products, jobs, ads, ways of living, cultural practices, etc).  Cross-cutting  these, two spatial dimensions draw our attention within the built environment and social/cultural flows of global cities: slums and  dreamworlds of neoliberal urbanism. We adopt virtual tactics for walking-in-the-city, positioning ourselves as transnational flâneurs tacking between the urban inequalities of slums and skyscrapers to ask: WHOSE CITY IS IT?


Each Virtual Global Cities project is dedicated to a particular world city in the Global South, and integrates virtual ethnographic documentation, visual images, scholarly literature, and critical interpretive analysis to guide the user.


University students majoring in many different fields created these web portfolios. We are not (yet) expert urbanists, and our results may be a bit uneven; we range from freshman to seniors, and a sprinkling of graduate students, and here we hone our skills in research, writing, critical analysis. Through this collaborative project, we discover that our comparative gaze offers some astounding insights about global cities. Taken together, we hope you'll agree that the synergy between our individual projects amounts to a sum much greater than its parts.



This site constructed by Kristin Koptiuch's Spring 2017 Global Cities class, New College of Arts & Sciences at Arizona State University, Phoenix

© 2017 Kristin Koptiuch. Please give credit to authors when citing. Viewpoints expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the professor or ASU.

Which Way the City?


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Kristin Koptiuch, Associate Professor of Anthropology, School of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Arizona State University