The Social Fabric of Cities | Reviews

Linking the physical to the social city is the challenge of our times. This is one of the first attempts to systematically do so, and Netto brilliantly succeeds in showing how encounters, segregation, movement and interaction are reflected in our understanding of the form and function of the city.

Michael Batty, CASA, University College London

In our fast-paced, empirically-driven research world, it is a rare treat to come across a theoretical book that merits pause and reflection, especially when written by a young scholar who has had the patience to mature it for a decade before granting it to us. Vinicius M. Netto’s meticulously crafted conceptual framework provides us with the tools to rethink some of the fundamental elements of our everyday research and teaching practice: the interscalar and increasingly complex relations between individual and collective bodies and the spaces of place and flow that shape and are shaped by our interactions. Netto offers practical reasons and philosophical ammunition in support of the battle to reclaim the city. This book is an admirable accomplishment.

Clara Irazábal, Columbia University

The city is at the nexus of the socio-economic, technological and cultural networks that are transforming contemporary social life. Vinicius Netto explains why our understanding of this complex process is likely to remain limited so long as the false opposition of materiality and meaning goes inadequately challenged in social theories of the city. His response is an original account of social practice as a communicative act premised on the materiality of urban systems. This highly interdisciplinary and intelligent study comes as a breath of fresh air to urban studies and should challenge entrenched epistemological positions.

Sam Griffiths, University College London