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David Harvey’s the Urban Experience


David Harvey is the most cited Geographer and a Marxist writer who has dedicated a considerable part of his career criticizing the modern day development of cities in capitalist and imperialist fashion. According to Him, a city is described as a pivot whereby a certain production mode is organized.

The Argument

David Harvey’s The Urban Experience

In his book; In consciousness and the Urban Experience, the way cities develop is described as being central to means of production. The major characteristics of concerns are the time, space and money. He argues that we can hence forget a few of the confused elements and open up the frames of allusion contained in urbanization proceeds. Simmel clear indicated the aspect of money in such relationship as being elusive, as it can be used for storing value and also finds use in token devoid o content (Harvey 1985). The use of money also came earlier than the philosophy of capitalist economy; thousand of year and hence its very important to make out that distinction between economy, money and capitalist economy. Money economies were also in existence before the development of the great cities. The aspect of labor becomes very critical ion development at this point. Individualism and equality is differentiated by deep tension and social class relations become evident in making the money. The capitalist strengthens the connection between space and money; money creates a very huge capability to focus social power in space, for contrasting other use worth it can build up at certain area without limit (Harvey 1985). These substantial focuses can be labored to bring out huge but restricted alteration of natural world, the building of constructed surroundings and the alike. Space is commoditized (Parker 2004)

Commoditization of space is turning or converting land or territory (which can be in the form of subsoil, water, or airspace) into an important asset and can be traded (bought and sold). (Harvey 1985)

David Harvey’s Urban Experience and Perspectives of Urban Historians

Space can converted into a product to be sold as it is measurable, quantifiable and can be subject to all the possible scientific estimation and qualification. Without these dimensions, it would have been impossible for city planners, developers and architects to design and to construct. Urban historians held that urban space cannot be understood by quantification alone but by looking at other aspects of space as well. Economy history and ideological make up are some of the critical aspects that have to be considered. This means that space is measurable physically and comprehensible socially (Harvey 1985). The ideological communications that tend to present urban space a quantifiable commodity counterbalance the inconsistency that occur within it add up to converting it into a commodity. David Harvey’s approach to the “urban experience” fit with the perspectives of urban historians. The commoditization of urban space underlies the recent change of public polices in a realistic and market oriented inclination. A new

David Harvey’s The Urban Experience

discourse had to develop to be able to legitimize this process; neo-liberalization because of globalization (Parker 2004)

Urbanization of Capital

Harvey describes that Urbanization of capital makes the city to grow and landscape changes due the construction that take place and as such there is capita accumulation. The process of shaping the landscape is like the process of crating wealth. Basically Harvey purports that there is s system that is comprised of every characteristic of growth including agency under dynamics of capitalism. (Harvey 1985)

The impact of capital being urbanized is that the land will be converted to cities and build up greatly impinging on the blend of commodities and services. The land will be developed to urban area will increase and cropland will be converted to urban. Due to this type of growth, space will be expensive; a lot of natural environment lie watershed will be affected. Others will be like the wildlife habitat and water sources.

Urbanization of Consciousness

Harvey explains that its not easy to understand the aspect of Urbanization of consciousness independently without comprehending what is meant by urbanization of capital neither can capital urbanization be understood on its own as they are intertwined. This translates to the role of the historical material and their interrelation of the process of urbanization to be critical. From these, one can deduce haw consciousness is fashioned via patterning of relationships of capitalist urbanization that convert response to modify the pattern of relationships that motivate the urbanization consciousness (Parker 2004)

David Harvey’s The Urban Experience

This is the reason why time, space and money plus the aspect of =developing a city are discussed in depth by urban theorists like Wirth and Simmel and other modern writers as well. According to Harvey, there is no account of the urbanization consciousness that can surface shine over these solid concepts as they are part of daily life and result from and bring up to date the urban capitalism (Parker 2004)


Urbanization is very important topic today since the world is developing art a very fast rate and a lot of farmland is being converted into urban. Urbanization describes the process in which the cities are expanded in proportion to population and over time. To understand the concepts behind the expansion, theorists have come up with urban history which is the examination of towns and cities development. Important such people include Harvey, Marfold and Simmel.

David Harvey’s The Urban Experience

David Harvey’s The Urban Experience


Harvey D. (1985). Consciousness and the Urban Experience. London/Baltimore – Johns Hopkins University Press

Parker S. (2004). Urban Theory and The Urban Experience: Encountering The City. Routledge