Postmodern Thought which is supported through the concentric

Postmodern Urbanism

The post-modern urbanism by Dear and Flusty has included
various studies that supported the post-modern urbanism. This post-modern
urbanism has aroused by contradicting the modern urbanism which is propagated
through the Chicago School of Thought which is supported through the concentric
zone theory, sector theory, Multi nuclei theory all of which had a set pattern
of development with Central Business District at the centre and varied
development zones around it. This is called as the modern urbanism which was
observed in 1920s. Later the Los Angeles School of Thought which had observed
no similarity to the above said theories of modernism and where the hinterland
acted as the centre, that had happened due to social polarisation and due to a
contradicting opinions of the rich and the poor(immigrants), where in this
paper termed as Cybergeoisie Protosurps respectively due to the revolution
created by the Protosurps.

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Why Postmodern Urbanism?

The key reason for Dear and Flusty to start with Post-modern
urbanism as they quoted the questions in modernism are, have we arrived at a
radical break in the way cities are developing? Is there something called a
postmodern urbanism, which presumes that we can identify some form of template
that defines its critical dimension? (Dear.M, 1998). According to them
the memetic contagion that have created by the Protosurps after certain time
due to their wellbeing unlike in the modernism where the rich is controlled by
the poor, this memetic contagion creates Keno Capitalism (which is the urbanism
without centre) and the Citistat is created.

This inquiry is based on a simple premise: that just as the
central tenets of modernist thought have been undermined, its core evacuated
and replaced by a rush of competing epistemologies, so too have the traditional
logics of earlier urbanisms evaporated, and in the absence of a single new
imperative, multiple urban (ir)rationalities are competing to fill the void. It
is the concretization and localization of these effects, global in scope but
generated and manifested locally, that are creating the geographies of
postmodern society a new time-space fabric.

Evolution of Postmodernism (L.A School of Thought)

Dear and Flusty’s key argument is that most 20th-century
urban analyses have been predicated on the Chicago School’s model of concentric
rings. By synthesizing recent studies on the contemporary form of Southern
California urbanism, they aim to develop a new concept, called postmodern
urbanism, under the banner of the Los Angeles School of centreless “keno”
capitalism. The fundamental features of the Los Angeles model include a
global-local connection, a ubiquitous social polarization, and a
reterritorialization of the urban process in which the hinterland organizes the
centre. This is, indeed, an ambitious undertaking. And yet, in the conclusion,
we are told that their notion of keno capitalism is not a metanarrative but
rather a micronarrative awaiting dialogical engagement. Los Angeles appears to
be a city without a common narrative, except perhaps the freeways or a more
generic iconography of the bizarre. Twenty-five years ago, Rayner Banham (1973)
provided an enduring map of the Los Angeles landscape. To this day, it remains
powerful, evocative, and instantly recognizable. He identified four basic
ecologies: surfurbia (the beach cities: “The beaches are what other metropolises
should envy in Los Angeles); the foothills (the privileged enclaves of Beverly
Hills, Bel Air, etc., where the financial and topographical contours correspond
almost exactly); the plains of Id (the central flatlands). (Sui, July,

In their prefatory remarks to that issue, Allen Scott and
Edward Soja referred to Los Angeles as the “capital of the twentieth
century,” deliberately invoking Walter Benjamin’s reference to Paris as
the capital of the nineteenth. They predicted that the volume of scholarly work
on Los Angeles would quickly overtake that on Chicago.

Ted Relph (1987) was one of the first geographers to
catalogue the built forms that comprise the places of postmodernity. He describes
postmodern urbanism as a self-conscious and selective revival of elements of
older styles, though he cautions that postmodernism is not simply a style but
also a frame of mind. (Dear.M, 1998)

Positives from Postmodernism

The trend of postmodernism survived in several disciplines.
This is because of the fact that postmodernism offers a different approach to
understand social reality. Though many scholars express a doubt on whether we
have really entered into a world that can be termed as postmodern or it is just
an extension of the modernity, there is no doubt that over the last half
century, the world has changed a lot because of the massive dominance of the
media and the great advancement in technology. We are getting tremendously
influenced by the activities of the media and thus in our subconscious, a
virtual world is being created and in most of the cases we are living both in
the real and the virtual world simultaneously. Moreover, because of this
amazing improvement of information technology, information is not having any
border. As a result, multiculturalism is becoming a common matter. Social
problems and movements are also taking new turns. Feminism, gay rights,
environmental conservation, terrorism, and fundamentalism – all these are
becoming the issues of the common people. This multidimensional society is
creating multidimensional individuals. Each individual is shaping
himself/herself in a different order, according to own choice. Such a
multidimensional society that belongs to multidimensional people with
differences in their choices is difficult to analyse. That is why the
postmodernists reject the scientific way of analysing society.

Problems of Postmodernism

Though postmodern thoughts can be treated as the demand of
the time, these are not beyond criticism. Scholars are also confused with the
fact that whether we have really entered in a new world that can be termed as
postmodern or this is just an extension of the modern era. Many scholars
criticized postmodernism indicating its several limitations. Some common criticisms
of it are, Critics identified postmodernism as a ‘notoriously slippery and
indefinable. Nicol (2005; 1) said that ‘the term became overloaded with
meaning, chiefly because it was being used to describe characteristics of the
social and political landscape as well as a whole range of different examples
of cultural production’. Many readers find postmodern literature difficult to
understand. Use of difficult language, forms and difficult jargons and terms
and ambiguous way of explanation makes postmodern literature almost unreachable
to many readers. Postmodernism does not contain the flavour of anything obvious
but in most cases, it is something that rejects any format or simplicity.
Whatever may be the field, whether it is art, music, architecture, literature
or sociological theory, lack of format has become the identity of
postmodernity. (Dewan Mahboob Hossain, May 2013)  

Postmodern Urbanism in Cleveland Ohio

The evolution of planning and zoning in Cleveland, Ohio.
Cleveland was selected because of its innovative and highly visible planning
tradition, which has weaved through the main historic stages of American
planning, and has served as a planning laboratory nationwide. The author
investigates whether a postmodern planning transition in Cleveland is
detectable and what its key aspects and contradictions are. It concludes that
the postmodern shift in Cleveland is notably stronger in planning discourses
than in planning policies.

The article accepts a definition of postmodernism as a broad
post-1960s–1970s shift in sensibilities with specific manifestations for
planning thought. It uses it as an “umbrella” term covering a number of related
ideological transitions in planning and their policy manifestations, such as a
shift from expert-driven toward participatory processes; from a planning view
assuming the supremacy of new, “modern” forms toward a view appreciative of the
historic structure; and from a planning focus on functionalism and efficiency
toward a focus on human-scale, urbane, and unique forms.

The theoretical debate on postmodernism and planning in
terms of such rich, place-based context through the in-depth study of planning
in the City of Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland was selected because of its highly
visible planning tradition, which has weaved through the main historic stages
of American planning, and because Cleveland has served as a planning laboratory
nationwide. It is because of this rich planning tradition that the story of
Cleveland, albeit being only one of many possible stories of planning’s “post modernization,”
resonates to broader planning audiences and warrants investigation as a case
study through which to highlight the complex ways in which postmodern
philosophical undercurrents have played out in the planning context. (Hirt, 2005)

The major findings in Cleveland is planning history is
studied and the specifics of the postmodern change and contribute to the debate
about whether postmodernism amounts to a true shift. The analysis of the
interviews and the plans demonstrated that in terms of planning discourse, a
gradual postmodern shift in Cleveland is detectable. Thus, the importance of
technical expertise as a source of planning legitimacy has decreased throughout
time, and current planners see themselves as facilitators of public choice
rather than experts. In contrast to mid-twentieth-century plans, which spoke
the language of efficiency, the new plan and current planners focus on issues
of urban cultural identity. Unlike earlier plans from the City Beautiful to
urban renewal, which favoured urban clearance, recent planning advocates

Various Opinions on Postmodern Urbanism

Postmodern urbanism
still remains in the literature an “anonymous metaprocess” (Loukiaitou-Sideris
and Banarjee 1998, xxvi) (Hirt, 2005)

Rosenau (1993) identifies some contradictions in Postmodernism. For
example, the antitheoretical position of the postmodernist is nothing but a
theoretical stand. Though the postmodernists focus on irrationality; they use
reason in developing their perspectives. We see that postmodernists highlight
the inconsistencies of modernism but they themselves depend on inconsistencies
by refusing the norms of consistency. Rosenau (1993) opines
that it cannot be said straightway that if modern criteria are invalid, there
cannot be any other valid criteria of judgment.

Shaikh (2009) states that: “Post Modernity is
a period of pessimism contrasting with modernity’s optimism. Post Modernism is
a counter enlightenment philosophy whereas modernism is a pro-enlightenment


The postmodern urbanism has given rise to the thought
process of people centric planning rather than action based and after the
globalisation this theory is more relevant in perspective of the keno
capitalism and in the modern trends where the evolution of Protosurps and their
cultural evolution which further helps in including the sociological
perspectives, that bring up changes in the planning ideology. The concepts of
edge cities uptowns (peripheral pre-automobile settlements that have
subsequently been absorbed by urban sprawl); boomers (the classic edge cities,
located at freeway intersections); and green fields (the cur- rent
state-of-the-art, “occurring at the intersection of several thousand acres
of farmland and one developer’s monumental ego”and globalisation helps in
understanding this scenario which are contradictory to the modernism theories
like concentric zone theory, which led to a shift in the rational planning
ideology. The dialectics that have generated unlike during the modernism period
is significant and addressing this is highlighted in the postmodern urbanism. 


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