He hoped that an analysis of space, and specifically of the “lived spaces” that people actually experience, would be able to apprehend human life as a complex whole and avoid reducing our understanding of experience to small fractions of life, such as class status, gender, race, income, consumer habits, marital status, and so on.
In a way, this article analyzes space in the opposite direction than we have discusses previously in class. Purcell uses the analyzation of space to comprehend human behavior, versus how human behavior defines space as in the Schindler piece.
Cities existed before industrial capitalism, he reasons, and so they are a human phenomenon that is not fully encompassed by industrialization. Industrialization does not create cities from nothing. What it does is to massively intensify the already existing process of urbanization
In school we learn to attach the meaning of cities to a historical event, industrialization, but this article pushes the function of cities to something much greater. Urbanization happens regardless of industrialization, just not as boldly.
Rather it is a task that is quite practical, concrete, and achievable: seek and learn to recognize the urban that is all around us but hidden, and then nurture it in whatever way we can. It is perfectly realistic. But recognizing the urban requires a revolutionary imagination.
This quote is significant because it possesses a main element of what it means to be an argument. This is the call to action and shows the purpose and meaning behind why he wrote this piece.