Professor: Kristin Koptiuch
Take a 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 increasingly prevalent spatial dimensions draw our attention within the built environment and social/cultural flows of global cities: slums and dreamworlds of neoliberalism (or, "evil paradises"). By adopting virtual strategies of walking-in-the-city, we situate ourselves as transnational flâneurs tacking between the slums and skyscrapers of global cities. Our primary readings, listed in the menu, inspired these interpretive strategies.
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 annotations, with critical interpretive analysis to guide the user.
University students majoring in many different fields created these web portfolios. We make no claim to be expert urbanists, and our results may be a bit uneven; we range from freshman to seniors, and we are still developing our skills in research, writing, critical analysis. But in doing this collaborative project, we discovered that our comparative look through the analytical lens described here 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.