(In)civility and the city

Published: 2006

Fyfe, N, Bannister, J, and Kearns, A (2006) Incivility and the City.Urban Studies, 43 (5/6). pp. 919-938.


Do we stand before a rising tide of incivility, of disrespect? Or, is this the latest moral panic? Examining (the UK) New Labour’s approach to incivility in the city, as manifest in the respect and urban renaissance agendas, this paper argues that the current zero-tolerance approach to incivility is based upon a confused understanding of anti-social behaviour and contradictory evidence of its occurrence and impact. Ultimately, it is proposed that a version of urbanity that endeavours to enforce respect and create the respectable city will prove counter-productive. Rather, respect and the respectful city require tolerance of, and engagement with, incivility.