Hanley, Lisa, Blair Ruble, and Allison Garland (eds). Immigration and Integration in Urban Communities: Renegotiating the City.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Irazabal, Clara
Pub Date: 06/22/2010
Publication: Name: Canadian Journal of Urban Research Publisher: Institute of Urban Studies Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Institute of Urban Studies ISSN: 1188-3774
Issue: Date: Summer, 2010 Source Volume: 19 Source Issue: 1
Topic: NamedWork: Immigration and Integration in Urban Communities: Renegotiating the City (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Hanley, Hsa; Ruble, Blair; Garland, Allison
Accession Number: 243797917
Full Text: Hanley, Hsa, Blair Ruble, and Allison Garland (eds).

Immigration and Integration in Urban Communities: Renegotiating the City.

Washington D.C. and Baltimore: Woodrow Wilson Center Press and The John Hopkins University Press, 2008.

336 pp.

ISBN: 9780801888410.

This book challenges the prevailing, counterpoising paradigms of immigration studies and integration strategies--multiculturalism and assimilationism--by noting that "host communities are not as static and migrants are not as passive" as these positions would suggest (p. 2). Instead, communities and migrants are constantly evolving, reacting and adapting to each other. The book explores these negotiations in the physical realm of cities, questioning notions of citizenship and membership in society. In the introduction, Ruble, Hanley, and Garland advocate for nuanced approaches that view "societies as more variable, migrants as more proactive, and cities as more meaningful" (p. 3). They stress the global scale and increasing pace of migration around the world, and the determinate role of cities as units of analysis and settings for integration. The book's chapters cut across disciplines, with lessons for planning from anthropology, law, political science, and geography. They are illustrative snapshots that "alert the reader to today's profound recalibration of urban life" (p. 13).

The book is divided in two parts, the first being the Renegotiation of Urban Space, while the second addresses the Renegotiation of Urban Citizenship. Part I begins with Michael Jones-Correa discussing new trends of spatial distribution of migrants in the United States and their implications for governments and communities, demonstrating through a case study in Washington D.C. that suburbanization of immigration lends itself to different dynamics of racial sorting, ethnic organization, and government response than those assumed in the past. Rhacel Salazar Parrenas analyzes the placelessness and exclusion of Filipina domestic migrants in Rome and Los Angeles. These phenomena are explored in both the private sphere of the workplace and the public sphere of these two cities, revealing the centrality of race and class in women's migratory experiences. At the rarely-explored micro scale of household and other everyday spaces, Serin Houston and Richard Wright uncover the struggles of ethnic mixing in Seattle. Particularly revealing is their consideration of household "as a geographic scale, a collectivity, and a set of practices, rather than just a mark of location and residence" (p. 74). The approach opens up a new arena of research that focuses attention on relationships between individuals for the study of displacement and belonging. Chantal Saint-Blancat discusses the multifaceted challenges of the construction of mosques and the particular demands and public space visibility strategies on the part of young Muslims in Europe. The author discusses how mosques crystallize a new way of social interactions in public space and explains that, depending on context, factors such as misunderstandings, lack of communication, and political ambiguity slow down the institutionalization of Islam in European public space. Next, and drawing on the experience of the Congolese diaspora in Johannesburg, AbdouMaliq Simone argues that life in Africa revolves around migration and that there is an inextricable and dynamic relationship between urbanization and migration. He captures phenomena that are largely taking place outside the purview of the state, challenging conventional paradigms of urban governance and planning.

Part II, Renegotiation of Urban Citizenship, also has five chapters. Caroline Brettel discusses migrant incorporation in cities and suburbs in the context of the Dallas-Fort Worth emerging gateway region, giving continuation to issues explored by Jones-Correa. David Ley's portrayal of the controversies regarding big ("monster") houses in Vancouver, which pitched wealthy Asian migrants against local preservationists, reveals less-discussed aspects of the challenges of multicultural planning. Jason Pribilsky's examination of health care among Ecuadorians in Rockland County, New York, highlights how transnational dynamics subvert conventional spatial and temporal dimensions of public health practices. Barbara Schmitter Heisler's comparison of immigration policies in Stuttgart and Munich vindicates the potential of cities, even within strong nation-state regulatory systems, to advance migrant-friendly policies and programs. The book closes with Dickson Eyoh's ambitious piece on urban citizenship and the disenfranchisement of migrants in Africa over three periods of history--the colonial era; the postcolonial era until the 1980s; and the post-1980 period.

This volume excelled at the ultimate classroom-applicability test: it was used as required reading for a course on planning and migration which I taught in Darmstadt, Germany, in May 2009, for an audience of master of planning students representing twenty four different nationalities. Because of the variety of case studies offered, most students could find both familiar and new migratory and planning conditions from which to relate and learn. The book also highlighted to them the importance of context sensitivity for appropriate urban analysis and proposal making.

Immigration and Integration in Urban Communities is a valuable resource for policy makers, academic analysts, and students of urban migration.

Clara Irazabal, Assistant Professor of International Urban Planning

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Columbia University
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