Urbanism without Guarantees: The Everyday Life of a Gentrifying West Side Neighborhood

Christian M. Anderson
Urbanism without Guarantees book cover showing split screen with two different colorations of same typical New York walk-up appartment

Focusing very tightly on just four blocks of a single street in Manhattan (New York City), the book shows how formations of gentrification and policing are connected to forms of common sense and everyday practice which, I argue, are informed by people’s ordinary sensibilities as situated/embedded in urban space and place. I show how consequential connections between everyday experience, sense making, routine practice, and spatial labor are mediated by what I think of as “performative infrastructures,” all coming together in contingent ways which can buoy deeply inequitable processes but might also—if subjected to deliberative critical praxis, concerted organizing, and so forth—be transformed toward different socialities and outcomes.