New South, New Athens? Angels, mobility, and myths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article critically deconstructs the notion of the ‘New South’ using the case of Charlotte, North Carolina, a prototypical ‘New South’ city. Using the framework of Henri Lefebvre’s ‘right to the city’, specifically the themes of ‘mobility’, ‘access’ and ‘oeuvre’ (the art of city-making) – the following will argue that the ‘New South’ is a neo-liberal repackaging of entrenched race, class and geo-spatial segregation. The business-friendly repositioning of this former textile city, combined with a sprawling urban form with decentralized employment opportunities, along with disinvestment and re-segregation in public education – have all contributed towards the scattering and division of a coherent working class. Therefore, lack of access, lack of participation and exclusion from centrality mean that marginalized groups (including the LGBTQ, African American and white working-class and poor communities) face difficulty realizing Lefebvre’s conditions of ‘New Athens’, the ‘impossible’ utopian city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Urban Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017
Externally publishedYes


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