Podcast "Urban Political"

The Podcast on Urban Theory, Research, and Activism

The {Urban Political} delves into contemporary urban issues with activists, scholars and policy-makers from around the world. Providing informed views, state of the art knowledge and unusual insights, the podcast aims to advance our understanding of urban environments and how we might make them more just and democratic. The {Urban Political} provides a new forum for reflection on bridging urban activism and scholarship, where regular features offer snapshots of pressing issues and new publications, allowing multiple voices of scholars and activists to enter into a transnational debate directly.


Are Community Land Trusts Transformative?

Community land trusts are proliferating across the globe, promoted as a potential solution to the ever-worsening affordable housing crisis. CLTs provide a mechanism for decommodification, collective ownership, and community control; however, those ideals are hard to operationalize, and many CLTs function more as traditional affordable housing providers than as urban commons. This episode discusses the causes of this tension as well as regional differences and issues of funding and scale framed around the question: are CLTs transformative? The moderator of this podcast is Mathilde Lind Gustavussen. She is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on housing, displacement, and tenant activism in Los Angeles. The panel of guests consists of: Nele Aernouts is assistant professor of urban design and planning at the Cosmopolis Centre for Urban Research, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research interests lie in the planning, spatial design and governance of social and collective housing initiatives, with a specific focus on their effects on the inclusion of disadvantaged or marginalized groups. Theoretically, her work is informed by debates surrounding participatory planning, housing policy, and the commons: https://www.cosmopolis.be/people/nele-aernouts Tarcyla Fidalgo is a lawyer and urban planner. She has a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Her research is focused on land tenure and community development, especially on Community Land Trusts and their potential in the Global South. Currently she coordinates the Favela Community Land Trust project at Catalytic Communities, in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. Links: Project website: www.termoterritorialcoletivo.org Personal Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tarcyla-fidalgo-746b9261/ Olivia R. Williams is a researcher, writer, advocate, and practitioner working for the decommodification of land and housing. She received a PhD in Geography in 2017 from Florida State University with research on community land trusts (CLTs), and began working at Madison Area Community Land Trust in Madison, Wisconsin as the executive director in 2020. She was also part of a research collaboration with MIT CoLab in developing the 2020 report, A Guide to Transformative Land Strategies. She has published in Urban Geography, Antipode, Housing Studies, Local Economy, and Area, among other academic outlets, as well as non-academic outlets like Jacobin, Shelterforce, and the 2020 book of essays on CLTs, On Common Ground.She also has served in board, staff, and volunteer leadership roles at various cooperative land-and-housing organizations such as Madison Community Cooperative, North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO), EcoVillagers Alliance, and Riverwest Investment Cooperative. The episode was edited by Ross Beveridge.

Erschienen: 17.03.2023
Dauer: 01:00:09

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On Peripheralisation

A discussion on the production of ex-centric places as an ordinary process of extended urbanisation

How do “peripheries” form? And how does urbanization generate processes of peripheralization? Today, urban research is increasingly confronted with processes of extended urbanization that unfold far beyond cities and agglomerations: novel patterns of urbanization are crystallizing in agricultural areas and in remote landscapes, challenging inherited conceptions of the urban as a bounded and dense settlement type. While certain territories of extended urbanisation experience growth, others are affected by peripheralisation, experiencing deep socio-economic and ecological restructuring, marginalisation and inequality, and the re-articulation of power and privilege. These observations advocate for a radical reconceptualization of the experience of periphery at various spatial scales. In this podcast, we discuss peripheralization not as a static spatial condition, but as a dynamic process that is shaped by uneven urbanization and complex multi-scalar relations, strongly put forward through moments of “crisis”. We debate on perpheralisation processes which manifest in different scales and geographies and discuss both their socioeconomic and ecological implications, as well as the emancipatory potential in ex-centric territories in times of exception. The podcast follows the intense discussions that took place this August in Athens, during the RC21 conference, in the context of Panel 26 entitled ‘Peripheralization. The production of ex-centric places as an ordinary process of extended urbanisation’ conveyed by Christian Schmid and Metaxia Markaki, hosting twenty-six international contributions. Warm thanks and extended credits to all participants of Panel 26.

Erschienen: 09.02.2023
Dauer: 01:36:06

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Inside the Women Life Freedom Movement in Iran

Reflections from urban scholar-activists in Tehran

Listen to this gripping account from the current „Women Life Freedom“ movement in Iran and its impact on cities and its inhabitants. The movement was sparked by the killing of Mahsa Jina Amini in the custody of the Islamic regime’s „morality police“ in September 2022. After several weeks of uprising, the media coverage in Western countries has become more silent due in part to the extremely repressive acts of the government in which several people have been killed and many imprisoned. The regime has also made a deliberate attempt to control communication chanels including the control or shut-down of the internet, making it more difficult for news about events to leave the country. The movement, however, is still very alive as you will hear in this episode. In this audio recording, produced by activists and urban scholars in Tehran, they bravely share their absorbing experiences and analyses of the ongoing uprising. They delve into the symbolic character of the hijab, provide historical and geographical context to the movement, and discuss the challenges they're facing in their fight for freedom and equality. These speakers have chosen to remain anonymous, using aliases for their safety, as they've been repeatedly subjected to repression.

Erschienen: 30.01.2023
Dauer: 01:02:42

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Forums of Discussion: sub\urban - journal for critical urban research

Ross speaks with Gala Nettelbladt and Nina Gribat

Having just celebrated the 10th anniversary of the important German-language journal for critical urban research, Ross speaks with sub\urban editorial members Gala Nettelbladt and Nina Gribat about why it is important to publish urban research in German, the challenge of organizing a horizontal editorial collective, of realizing an open access publication strategy, and of relating to political struggles of the current moment - among many other topics. First part of a series of episodes on forums of discussion and publication outlets in different geographical contexts.

Erschienen: 12.01.2023
Dauer: 01:04:29

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Book Review Roundtable: Art & Climate Change

Maja & Reuben Fowkes and their Critics

The book provides an overview of ecologically conscious contemporary art that responds to today’s environmental crisis, from species extinction to climate change. Art and Climate Change collects a wide range of artistic responses to our current ecological emergency. When the future of life on Earth is threatened, creative production for its own sake is not enough. Through contemporary artworks, artists are calling for an active, collective engagement with the planet in order to illuminate some of the structures that threaten biological survival. Exploring the meeting point of decolonial reparation and ecological restoration, artists are remaking history by drawing on the latest ecological theories, scientific achievements, and indigenous worldviews to engage with the climate crisis. Across five chapters, authors Maja and Reuben Fowkes examine these artworks that respond to the Anthropocene and its detrimental impact on the planet’s climate, from scenes of nature decimated by ongoing extinction events and landscapes turned to waste by extraction, to art coming out of the communities most affected by the environmental injustice of climate change. Featuring a broad range of media, including painting, photography, conceptual, installation, and performance, this text also dives into eco-conscious art practices that have created a new kind of artistic community by stressing a common mission for creators all over the world. In this art history, the authors emphasize the importance of caring for and listening to marginalized and indigenous communities while addressing climate uncertainty, deforestation, toxicity, and species extinction. By proposing scenarios for sustainable futures, today’s artists are reshaping our planet’s history, as documented in this heavily illustrated book.

Erschienen: 25.11.2022
Dauer: 00:48:45

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Planetary Urbanization (Urban Concepts Series)

Conversation with Johanna Hoerning and Hillary Angelo

Urbanization has become central in recent political discourses, as well as a contested concept in experts' spheres. This podcast of the Urban Political delves into the phenomenon of urbanization and traces back how the idea of "expanding cities" is causing disagreement in urban studies and leading researchers to raise questions that have haunted the discipline since the times of Georg Simmel. In this episode, Nicolas Goez, one of our new members of the editorial board at Urban Political, talks with Johanna Hoerning and Hillary Angelo about current discussions around urbanization, against the background of the so-called urban age. Join us in this discussion and tune in! #Urbanization #UrbanTheory #Anthroposcene #UrbanStudies #PlanetaryUrbanization

Erschienen: 05.10.2022
Dauer: 00:56:46

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Dispatch from RC21 Conference 2022 – Ordinary cities in exceptional times

The RC21 Conference 2022, “Ordinary cities in exceptional times,” was held in Athens from August, 24 to 26. A large group of participants from all over the world gathered for was the first in-person conference of the RC21 network since the start of the pandemic. However, the pandemic continued to dominate the conference with a number of participants being unable to travel to Athens due to the uncertain visa regimes. On the opening day of the conference, the participants gathered in the historical building of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) in the Exarchia neighbourhood in downtown Athens. At the reception in the grand courtyard of NTUA, the participants came face-to-face with a group of protestors that raised banners against the state-projects promoting the gentrification and pacification of the anarchist neighbourhood of Exarchia. The remaining two days of the conference were organised on the premises of the Harokopio University in the Kallithea neighbourhood of Athens. The University hosted over forty parallel presentation panel sessions along with a number of keynote panels and book launches. The next RC21 meeting will take place at the ISA 2023 conference in Melbourne, Australia. In the episode you will hear fragments of interviews from the following people: Julie Ren, Giulia Torino, AbdouMaliq Simone, Eduardo Marques, Talja Blokland, David dit Dato Gogishvili, Simone Tulumello, Nidhi Subramanyam, Eleni Triant, and Stavros Stavrides

Erschienen: 12.09.2022
Dauer: 00:54:19

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Dispatch from INURA Conference 2022 in Luxemburg

Small State Big Transitions

The 30th annual INURA Conference entitled "Small State Big Transitions” was held in Luxembourg from June 25 to 28. Over 60 participants gathered at the conference to learn about the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and to celebrate the 30 years INURA. This year’s conference was organised by the Urban Studies Group at the Department of Geography and Spatial Planning at the University of Luxembourg. With a population of just over 600,000, Luxembourg is a small, multilingual, sovereign state. But these diminutive attributes belie a cosmopolitan space where daily life frequently involves using three languages, and encountering perhaps four, five or six. Exhilarating and bewildering, it speaks to the ’small-but-global’ urbanisation the country has experienced in recent decades. The conference opened with city tours that explored the range of challenges and contradictions that constitute this complex urban space which elides various categories: a small state, city-state, multilingual sovereign nation, European capital, financial capital, international business hub, and cross-border (sub)urban region. In addition to being the 30th year anniversary celebration of INURA, the Luxembourg conference was the first in-person meeting of the network since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spread over three days of lively discussion, the conference played host to a variety of topics from climate crisis and social justice, to movements and Marxism, and the role of financial markets in housing and urban development. The conference also played host to the screening of the films ‘How Poles Became White’ by Tino Bucholz and ‘The Truth lies in Rostock’ by Mark Saunders. The podcast features fragments of interviews and reflections from INURA Luxembourg attendees. The podcast begins with the recital of Adrian Mitchell’s poem Ancestors and ends with Leon Rosselson’s song, The World Turned Upside Down, both recited by Chris Tranchell, and featuring a violin improvisation by Philipp Klaus. The INURA 2023 conference will take place in Zurich.

Erschienen: 27.07.2022
Dauer: 00:52:55

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Landscapes of Care and Control

A comparative conversation on the urban impasse of state interventions and everyday logics under COVID19

This episode looks at urban landscapes of care and control that emerged during the pandemic in Santiago de Chile (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia) and Berlin (Germany). It is a comparative conversation on the urban impasse of state interventions and everyday logics under COVID19 in each of these cities and discusses the following questions: 1. How, if at all, has the pandemic affected state interventions in health in these cities? What new discourses and routines have been announced? 2. How, if at all, has the pandemic worked as a set of interventions in the social infrastructure of these cities? What, now almost 2 years down the road, has changed in the social realities of institutional agents and ordinary citizens that we observe? 3. What lessons can be learnt from the care and control contradictions in cities of today?

Erschienen: 13.07.2022
Dauer: 01:13:09

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Book Review Roundtable: Fragments of the City: Making and Remaking Urban Worlds

Author Colin McFarlane and his Critics

In this episode moderated by Nitin Bathla, the author Colin McFarlane discusses his recent book Fragments of the City with the critics Theresa Enright, Tatiana Thieme, and Kevin Ward. In analyzing the main arguments of the book, Theresa discusses the role of aesthetics in imagining, sensing, and learning the urban fragments, and the ambivalence of density in how it enables and disables certain kinds of politics. She questions Colin about the distinctiveness of art as a means to engage and politicize fragments, and how can we think about the relationships between fragment urbanism, density and the urban political across varied contexts. Tatiana analyses how the book journeys across a range of temporal scales of knowing fragments from its etymology to autobiographical experiences of underserved neighborhoods and of toilet and sanitation politics. She questions Colin about methodological dilemmas of walking across different fragments and his relationality to different field sites, the worlds of work, and divergent politics of the city. Lastly, Kevin discusses about provocative ways in which the book renders cities comparable that are ontological, epistemological and profoundly political, and the uncertainty of knowing the urban. He questions Colin of about the work that needs to be done in connecting wholes and fragments and about the need for widening the repertoire of people who are involved in those conversations. In closing the episode, Colin talks about the value of pushing conventional forms of writing and embracing the experimental forms of writing in fragments in both form and content to make sense of the broken urban worlds.

Erschienen: 01.06.2022
Dauer: 01:26:12

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Podcast "Urban Political"