Social Justice and the City

David Harvey
Revised Edition

A foundational text in urban geography, now updated to include the essay “The Right to the City”


"A penetrating analysis of contemporary urbanism which may indeed be the signal for a change of direction, if not a revolution, in geographic thought. The time is certainly ripe for this. But it will appeal to and stimulate many other disciplines and professions. It will be controversial for it brings into question concepts and values that are fundamental to our way of life."
Times Higher Education Supplement

"One of the most influential books in human geography, Social Justice and the City is a generative work that has influenced decades of urban studies scholars. Harvey skillfully demonstrates the material forces that produce cities, urban geographies, and the problems that are often associated with them. In so doing, he opened up new territory for understanding some of the fundamental and enduring problems of the city."
—Laura Pulido, author of Black, Brown, Yellow, and Left: Radical Activism in Los Angeles

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Throughout his distinguished and influential career, David Harvey has defined and redefined the relationship among politics, capitalism, and the social aspects of geographical theory. Laying out Harvey’s position that geography could not remain objective in the face of urban poverty and associated ills, Social Justice and the City is perhaps the most widely cited work in the field.

Harvey analyzes core issues in city planning and policy—employment and housing location, zoning, transport costs, concentrations of poverty—asking in each case about the relationship between social justice and space. How, for example, do built-in assumptions about planning reinforce existing distributions of income? Rather than leading him to liberal, technocratic solutions, Harvey’s line of inquiry pushes him in the direction of a “revolutionary geography,” one that transcends the structural limitations of existing approaches to space. Harvey’s emphasis on rigorous thought and theoretical innovation gives the volume an enduring appeal. This is a book that raises big questions, and for that reason geographers and other social scientists regularly return to it.

Geographies of Justice and Social Transformation

Page count: 368 pp.
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $28.95

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David Harvey is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His many books include A Brief History of Neoliberalism and Spaces of Global Capitalism: Towards a Theory of Uneven Geographical Development.