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Special Section on Gendering the Right to the City: Critical Perspectives

Special Section on Gendering the Right to the City: Critical Perspectives

Vacchelli, Elena and Kofman, Eleonore (eds.) (2018) Special Section on Gendering the Right to the City: Critical Perspectives. Elsevier. ISSN 0264-2751

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Abstract

Abstract of the Editorial

In “The right to the city” Henri Lefebvre (1968/1996) analysed the dialectic tension between the implosion of historic centres and the explosion of the urban beyond existing city boundaries under capitalist industrialization. The context of his intervention almost 50 years ago was the development of a national technocratic planning and the beginnings of gentrification in Paris' historic city centre. The city as a space occupied by productive labour, by oeuvres and festivities was being lost. The neocapitalist city had replaced the historic core, which once represented the centre of decision-making according to the Western democratic imaginary, into a centre of consumption.

The right to the city cannot be conceived simply as a visiting right or a call for a return to traditional cities. It can only be formulated as a transformed and renewed right to urban life for the whole of society and especially for those who inhabit it. The right to the city is open to all urban dwellers and not just citizens according to their social contract with the state (Lefebvre and Groupe de Navarrenx (1990/2003). In conjunction with the right to difference and the right to information, the right to the city should work towards establishing a right for citizens as urban dwellers, especially with regards to their right to use of the centre, a privileged space compared to the ghettos for workers, immigrants, marginalised and for the wealthy who live in suburbs. The right to the city can be claimed by those who contribute to its daily production and social reproduction and are therefore empowered by it. The resurgence of Lefebvre's Right to the City is in part linked to the increasing recognition that the city provides a more relevant focus to explore social relations as well as socio-economic issues than the nation-state (Massey, 2005).

Although a wealth of literature has been produced about the right to the city across the globe (Brenner & Schmid, 2015; Harvey, 2012; Kipfer, Saberi, & Wieditz, 2013; Purcell, 2002; Sugranyes & Mathivet, 2010), we argue that the right to the city as conceived by Lefebvre necessitates more than ever an engagement and re-contextualision given the fact that some of these concepts have changed, others have been revised, and importantly did not take into account gender.

Item Type: Edited Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, inclusion, right to the city
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Department of History, Politics & Social Sciences
Last Modified: 12 May 2020 20:17
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28033

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