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!"#$%#&'&#((%()
*!$+#$,)-U
URBANISM
!"#$%!&'()"*+(%,!-$
."/0'-#-1,
New Urban Challenges
in times of financial
capitalism
Cities are cultural artefacts and they
embody livelihoods and economies
The way we produce space is intimately related
to our economies, understood broadly.
In fact, some say the main fuel of ca...
The association of the production of urban space and
capitalism is very old. Henri Pirenne identifies the rise of
Italian ...
Colonisation on the other hand
produced the incredible
accumulation of capitals that would
later finance industrialisation...
Industrialisation and mechanisation (and especially the
invention of the railway) altered the urban landscape forever
But the logic of industrial mass production was also used for te
production of space and unequal accumulation often meant
...
The urban slum was born
But Fordism would change all that with the idea
that a consumers’ class needed to be created so
that goods could be sold.
That was the beginning of the American dream with its
ever larger cars, transporting people to ever farther
suburbs where ...
Lefebvre and then Harvey:
The Urbanisation of Capital
The Dutch version of suburbanisation:
home ownership as a mechanism
to promote growth and prosperity (don’t
forget the Net...
VINEX: the updated suburban
dream (compact, connected to
public transportation)
Houses and offices need to
be furnished
Infrastructure needs to be built to connect
suburbs and new corporate centralities
and cars need to be bought
but there are limits to this
process
Until the city becomes the
fuel of capital accumulation
in times of financial
capitalism, real estate
speculation has become
one of the main motors for
urbanisation
There are more spectacular
embodiments of the
financialisation of urban space
Dubai
Hong Kong
Pudong
Sao Paulo: global city in
the semi-periphery of capitalism
but this model is becoming exhausted
(and part of the problem is neoliberalism itself)
Thai 1997 Crisis:
‘Monuments to Speculators’
Spanish 2008 Real Estate Bubble:
‘The Cities That Never Were’
United States Subprime Mortgage Crisis
‘House of Cards’
The Big Short
Chinese Ghost Cities
the next chapterthe next chapterthe next chapterthe next chapter
Chinese Ghost CitiesChinese Ghost Cities
Meanwhile
Favela Paraisopolis, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Brazil:
100 million new urban dwellers in the
post-war alone
Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Complementarity of formal and informal
INSIDE THE SAME LOGIC OF PRODUCTION OF
UR...
Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
While part of cities is produced within the
logic I described above, a big part ...
Torre David, Caracas , Venezuela
Petare Slum, Caracas Venezuela
Slum in Haiti after 2010 earthquake
The Latin American slum is slowly
becoming more urbanised, but new slums
are appearing...
but why….?
globalisation
(again)
globalisation of production means that
countries all over the word are
inserted in production chains that
promote some sor...
(Subordinate)
modernisation has
triggered unchecked
rural to urban migration
(Subordinate)
modernisation means that
modernisation happens
without inclusion and without
substantive citizenship
An example of subordinate
modernisation is the garment
industry in Bangladesh: formal
employment without guarantees,
extre...
Subordinate modernisation
happens (mostly) in weak
institutional contexts ,
where the rule of law is defective
and there i...
Exclusive
urbanisation
it produces
Urban exclusion is not the result of poverty
(only).
It is the result of complex ecosystems of world
production in which s...
• deregulation of labour relations
• transfer of industrial jobs overseas
• shrinkage of the State
• privatisation of publ...
informal settlements are improving
and a market exists in slums:
inclusion in the capitalist logic of
city production is h...
is this
sustainable?
is this fair?
powerful indictment of
neoliberalism as unable to
provide sustainable
urbanisation
SaoPaulo
Poor official responses
‘Minha casa minha vida’
Brazilian federal programme
Poor official responses
Mexico Poor official responses
SaoPaulo Poor official responses
socially
environmentally
economically
unsustainable
Sustainable urbanisation is key to
successful development
(…) “ If well managed, cities offer important opportunities for ...
Planning Urgencies
in Latin American
Cities
1. How to bridge the social & spatial divide that
How to bridge the social & spatial divide that
How to bridge the social ...
2.How to integrate millions of city dwellers while upholding
2.How to integrate millions of city dwellers while upholding
...
3.How to harmonise urgent environmental issues
(climate change) with social needs?
4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofproperty
4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofproperty
4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofpr...
!"
5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainabilit
5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainability ...
!$
6. How to improve the quality of city management and
6. How to improve the quality of city management and
promote good ...
!&
7. How to promote fair access, use, regulation, and taxation of urban land
#&
Spatial
Justice?
!!
#&
How to promote urban reform
without fundamentally changing
the way we deal with urban land
and urban property in the...
Any
questions?
New Urban Challenges in Times of Financial Capitalism
New Urban Challenges in Times of Financial Capitalism
New Urban Challenges in Times of Financial Capitalism
New Urban Challenges in Times of Financial Capitalism
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New Urban Challenges in Times of Financial Capitalism

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This is a lecture originally prepared for the LANDac conference in Utrecht 2016. This is an adapted version for the ALUMNI DAY of the chair of Human Geography - International Development Studies at the University of Utrecht,

Published in: Education
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New Urban Challenges in Times of Financial Capitalism

  1. 1. !"#$%#&'&#((%() *!$+#$,)-U URBANISM !"#$%!&'()"*+(%,!-$ ."/0'-#-1, New Urban Challenges in times of financial capitalism
  2. 2. Cities are cultural artefacts and they embody livelihoods and economies
  3. 3. The way we produce space is intimately related to our economies, understood broadly. In fact, some say the main fuel of capitalist accumulation is urbanisation. This has implications for the sustainability of cities in neoliberalism.
  4. 4. The association of the production of urban space and capitalism is very old. Henri Pirenne identifies the rise of Italian and Flemish cities with the appearance of mercantile capitalism at the end of the Middle Ages. This ‘extraordinary exchange’ unleashed the creative forces that characterised the Renaissance and provided the capital for the great banking families who lent money to newly formed national states for the first colonial exploitations.
  5. 5. Colonisation on the other hand produced the incredible accumulation of capitals that would later finance industrialisation and would expand this new mode of production around the globe.
  6. 6. Industrialisation and mechanisation (and especially the invention of the railway) altered the urban landscape forever
  7. 7. But the logic of industrial mass production was also used for te production of space and unequal accumulation often meant very low salaries were paid. Workers often lived in appalling conditions.
  8. 8. The urban slum was born
  9. 9. But Fordism would change all that with the idea that a consumers’ class needed to be created so that goods could be sold.
  10. 10. That was the beginning of the American dream with its ever larger cars, transporting people to ever farther suburbs where there were ever larger houses
  11. 11. Lefebvre and then Harvey: The Urbanisation of Capital
  12. 12. The Dutch version of suburbanisation: home ownership as a mechanism to promote growth and prosperity (don’t forget the Netherlands is a very particular type of entrepreneurial welfare state!)
  13. 13. VINEX: the updated suburban dream (compact, connected to public transportation)
  14. 14. Houses and offices need to be furnished
  15. 15. Infrastructure needs to be built to connect suburbs and new corporate centralities
  16. 16. and cars need to be bought but there are limits to this process
  17. 17. Until the city becomes the fuel of capital accumulation
  18. 18. in times of financial capitalism, real estate speculation has become one of the main motors for urbanisation
  19. 19. There are more spectacular embodiments of the financialisation of urban space Dubai
  20. 20. Hong Kong
  21. 21. Pudong
  22. 22. Sao Paulo: global city in the semi-periphery of capitalism
  23. 23. but this model is becoming exhausted (and part of the problem is neoliberalism itself)
  24. 24. Thai 1997 Crisis: ‘Monuments to Speculators’
  25. 25. Spanish 2008 Real Estate Bubble: ‘The Cities That Never Were’
  26. 26. United States Subprime Mortgage Crisis ‘House of Cards’
  27. 27. The Big Short
  28. 28. Chinese Ghost Cities the next chapterthe next chapterthe next chapterthe next chapter
  29. 29. Chinese Ghost CitiesChinese Ghost Cities
  30. 30. Meanwhile
  31. 31. Favela Paraisopolis, Sao Paulo, Brazil Brazil: 100 million new urban dwellers in the post-war alone
  32. 32. Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  33. 33. Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Complementarity of formal and informal INSIDE THE SAME LOGIC OF PRODUCTION OF URBAN SPACE: RIGHTS DEFICIT + EXCLUSION (or another kind of inclusion?)
  34. 34. Favela da Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil While part of cities is produced within the logic I described above, a big part of it is produced apparently ‘outside’ that logic, but informal urbanisation has in reality a symbiotic relationship with formal urbanisation.
  35. 35. Torre David, Caracas , Venezuela
  36. 36. Petare Slum, Caracas Venezuela
  37. 37. Slum in Haiti after 2010 earthquake The Latin American slum is slowly becoming more urbanised, but new slums are appearing all the time, as a substantial part of Latin Americans do not have access to formal means of financing and can not access the formal housing market.
  38. 38. but why….? globalisation (again)
  39. 39. globalisation of production means that countries all over the word are inserted in production chains that promote some sort of ‘subordinate’, incomplete or defective modernisation in the periphery of capitalism
  40. 40. (Subordinate) modernisation has triggered unchecked rural to urban migration
  41. 41. (Subordinate) modernisation means that modernisation happens without inclusion and without substantive citizenship
  42. 42. An example of subordinate modernisation is the garment industry in Bangladesh: formal employment without guarantees, extremely low wages and appalling working conditions: rights deficit.
  43. 43. Subordinate modernisation happens (mostly) in weak institutional contexts , where the rule of law is defective and there is a deficit in civil rights
  44. 44. Exclusive urbanisation it produces
  45. 45. Urban exclusion is not the result of poverty (only). It is the result of complex ecosystems of world production in which some countries or regions have a subordinate role, with some groups of people taking the blunt of the prevailing unequal distribution of gains over production.
  46. 46. • deregulation of labour relations • transfer of industrial jobs overseas • shrinkage of the State • privatisation of public services • the reduction of social services • erosion of the concept of public good • the debacle of spatial planning neoliberalism is an economic doctrine that propagates:
  47. 47. informal settlements are improving and a market exists in slums: inclusion in the capitalist logic of city production is happening, but at extremely high human, political and environmental costs
  48. 48. is this sustainable?
  49. 49. is this fair?
  50. 50. powerful indictment of neoliberalism as unable to provide sustainable urbanisation
  51. 51. SaoPaulo Poor official responses
  52. 52. ‘Minha casa minha vida’ Brazilian federal programme Poor official responses
  53. 53. Mexico Poor official responses
  54. 54. SaoPaulo Poor official responses
  55. 55. socially environmentally economically unsustainable
  56. 56. Sustainable urbanisation is key to successful development (…) “ If well managed, cities offer important opportunities for economic development and for expanding access to basic services, including health care and education, for large numbers of people. Providing public transportation, as well as housing, electricity, water and sanitation for a densely settled urban population is typically cheaper and less environmentally damaging than providing a similar level of services to a dispersed rural population”. Source: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/world-urbanization-prospects-2014.html
  57. 57. Planning Urgencies in Latin American Cities
  58. 58. 1. How to bridge the social & spatial divide that How to bridge the social & spatial divide that How to bridge the social & spatial divide that characterises the LATAM capitalist city characterises the LATAM capitalist city characterises the LATAM capitalist city? Source: Instituto Pereira Passos, http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.brSource: Instituto Pereira Passos, http://portalgeo.rio.rj.gov.br
  59. 59. 2.How to integrate millions of city dwellers while upholding 2.How to integrate millions of city dwellers while upholding citizens’ ‘right to the city’?
  60. 60. 3.How to harmonise urgent environmental issues (climate change) with social needs?
  61. 61. 4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofproperty 4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofproperty 4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofpropertyinfaceof 4.Howtopreservethesocialfunctionofproperty savageunregulatedrealestatemarket?
  62. 62. !" 5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainabilit 5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainability in explosively 5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainabilit 5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainabilit 5. How to harmonise housing, liveability and sustainability in explosively y in explosively growing cities in weak governance environments with a deficit of citizens rights #$
  63. 63. !$ 6. How to improve the quality of city management and 6. How to improve the quality of city management and promote good and fair governance #%#%
  64. 64. !& 7. How to promote fair access, use, regulation, and taxation of urban land #& Spatial Justice?
  65. 65. !! #& How to promote urban reform without fundamentally changing the way we deal with urban land and urban property in the city produced by financial capitalism ?
  66. 66. Any questions?

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