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Contrapuntal urbanisms: towards a postcolonial relational geography


  • Cian OâCallaghan


Relational geography has reformulated how we study cities, but has reiterated perennial problems in the discipline between the utility of theory and the complex realities it purports to represent. I argue that by constructing this problem as a dialogue between urban and postcolonial studies, we can find better ways to understand this frustration and reflexively engage with it. Through reworking Edward Said’s ‘contrapuntal’ perspective, I propose a relational urban geography which is more sensitive to the ontological limitations of theory, and which takes a provisional approach to conceptualising and writing about cities. I then illustrate these propositions through a contrapuntal reading of recent redevelopment in Cork, Ireland. Keywords: Edward W Said, postcolonialism, contrapuntal perspective, relational urbanism, Cork, Ireland

Suggested Citation

  • Cian OâCallaghan, 2012. "Contrapuntal urbanisms: towards a postcolonial relational geography," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(8), pages 1930-1950, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:8:p:1930-1950

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