The End of the Right to the City: A Radical-Cooperative View

Urban Affairs Review (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Is the Right to the City (RTTC) still a useful framework for a transformative urban politics? Given recent scholarly criticism of its real-world applications and appropriations, in this paper, we argue that the transformative promise in the RTTC lies beyond its role as a framework for oppositional struggle, and in its normative ends. Building upon Henri Lefebvre's original writing on the subject, we develop a “radical-cooperative” conception of the RTTC. Such a view, which is grounded in the lived experiences of the current city, envisions an urban society in which inhabitants can pursue their material and social needs through self-governed cooperation across social difference. Growing and diversifying spaces and sectors of urban life that are decoupled from global capitalism are, we argue, necessary to create space for this inclusionary politics. While grassroots action is essential to this process, so is multi-scalar support from the state.

Author's Profile

Caleb Althorpe
University of Western Ontario

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