That the making of urban space and life is largely located in the systematic, impetuous, and equivocal efforts of the majority of a city’s inhabitants, and which persist in spite of the impositions and destructions of both well-known and unfamiliar forces, remains an interminable reality and conundrum. For the ordinary contributions of this majority are undervalued to the extent of being rendered invisible or irrelevant. But by offering a sweeping historical account across varied Asian contexts and circumstances ... Perera restores the breadth of the creation, adjustments and intersections at work in how such contributions confront all kinds of disasters, dispossessions and potentials as a vital common sense.
There is no book I know that so clearly renders apparently shrinking horizons into testaments of uneasy endurance.”
— AbdouMaliq Simone, Research Professor, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity