Theorising urban space

Commentary by Jens Kuhn, 24 March 2022


  • Jens Kuhn Cape Town City Council, South Africa



A reply to ... A critical Lefebvrian perspective on planning in relation to informal settlements in South Africa by Marie Huchzermeyer, published in Town and Regional Planning, 79, pp. 44-54.

Henri Lefebvre’s prime contribution to theorising about society was to bring on board the concept of “space”, or perhaps more correctly, geography. Well into the 1940s Marxian analysis of capitalism remained wedded exclusively to time, that being the large-scale currents of change in history. The effect of urban and regional form, and its role in the reproduction of capitalism, received no mention because it complicated and fragmented Marxist analysis immeasurably. Unlike space, time can be treated as the same and regular, no matter where you are. Spatial structure differs significantly from one location to the next. Lefebvre’s was insistent, however, that no critique of capitalism is viable without incorporating the decisive role played by spatial form.


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How to Cite

Kuhn, J. . (2022). Theorising urban space: Commentary by Jens Kuhn, 24 March 2022. Town and Regional Planning, 80, 3-5.