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.

Episoden: Neueste Episoden


Urban Climate Finance at the edge of viability?

Hanna Hilbrandt in conversation with Emma Colven, Zac Taylor, Sarah Knuth, and Sage Ponder

Amidst the rapidly unfolding ecological crisis, current research is witnessing ever new financial strategies that aim at making money from urban climate risks. In this episode Hanna Hilbrandt invites Emma Colven, Zac Taylor, Sarah Knuth, and Sage Ponder, to discuss the financial and socio-material limits to the viability of urban financialization in the context of climate change. When climate disasters increasingly destroy financial assets and erode returns, how much longer will it take until some financial strategies become unviable? What are the multiple mechanisms finance and state actors use to push these limits into the future and continue to profit from climate change? Which places are indispensable to finance? And what happens when financial strategies become unviable (if that happens at all)? Bringing together research from Jakarta, Miami and Puerto Rico, amongst other cities, we discuss risk management practices that mine value from rising waters, wildfires, or hurricanes, and open up new markets on the back of urban decay. Thinking through wider questions about disaster capitalism, we delve into the inherent challenges to that system. Talking across multiple research sites, we discuss geographical differences in state interventions ranging from forced evictions to fiscal policies. In conclusion, we reflect on contestations on the ground and possibilities for urban research to support these struggles.

Erschienen: 12.01.2021
Dauer: 01:17:34

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Urban Climate Finance at the edge of viability?"


Mobilization and advocacy in contexts of massive urbanisation - Part 2

Erschienen: 19.12.2020
Dauer: 01:35:46

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Mobilization and advocacy in contexts of massive urbanisation - Part 2"


Mobilization and Advocacy in Massive Urbanization Contexts - Part I

Reflections from Delhi, Karachi, Lagos, and Manila

Throughout the global south, many urban regions have become massive. In the familiar renditions of this notion, urban regions, mushrooming in population and spatial footprints, teeter close to chaos, environmental disaster, and ungovernability. Populations are being reshuffled, moved from one area to the other, something which an extensive landscape of built projects that never really worked has allowed as buildings are repurposed for other uses as they also take advantage of contiguities with new developments—sub-cities, new industrial zones and logistical centres. The sheer heterogeneity of developments at all scales, from thousands of small developers to large real estate corporations have equipped regions with a large volume of warehouses, housing estates, mega residential developments, industrial zones, commercial centres, and small enterprise districts that either never got off the ground, only partially fulfilled the intended functions or rates of occupancy, or quickly fell apart. When these “projects” are coupled with large swathes of squatter settlements, temporary migrant housing, and the conversion of older residential neighbourhoods into mass boarding houses, it is possible to grasp the extensiveness of a circulating population that anchors residency across multiple tenuous residencies, remains completely unanchored in serial short terms occupancies, or is continuously displaced as a function of different instantiations of urban renewal, the migration of employment opportunities, or an increasingly opportunistic-cantered sensibility of residents themselves. Yet, massiveness may be the very thing that provides a kind of “safety net.” All kinds of discrepant environments become momentary bastions of largely improvised collectivity, where people try to make some functional use of each other without any pretence of long-term commitments. Momentary, sporadic, and makeshift become the defining metaphors of many collective formations. In this episode, Maliq invites the four participants to reflect on Delhi (Nitin), Karachi (Sobia), Lagos (Taibat), and Manila (Kristian) by addressing these questions: 1. What is it particularly about your cities which seems at times too complex, too all over the place, too difficult to understand with the tool boxes that we have? 2. You have all been involved in attempting to do things in your cities—either in terms of advocacy, community planning, public policy, project development. Can you talk about what you have learned through this process, and how this new learning might be translated into action? 3. In terms of the urban challenges as you understand them, and the complexities of the regions you inhabit, what do you think constitutes viable political experiments, particularly those addressed to issues of spatial justice, economic precarity, and social marginalization?

Erschienen: 04.12.2020
Dauer: 01:23:19

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Mobilization and Advocacy in Massive Urbanization Contexts - Part I"


Radical Municipal Politics in Latin America since the 1990s

A conversation with Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Gianpaolo Baiocchi offers us an historical overview of what he terms Radical Cities in Latin America and draws out some lessons from the past 30 years. Comparing these experiences to municipal politics in Europe and elsewhere, he highlights the distinctive features and charts the ups and downs of these urban movements. Massive suburbanization, metropolitan fragmentation and reactionary backlashes in Brazil and elsewhere have been posing key challenges for reconfiguring a municipalist politics in this part of the world. Taking cues from our recent podcast roundtable on Murray Bookchin's work, Gianpaolo discusses radical misunderstandings around the notion of sovereignty and argues why a transformative urban politics needs to uphold a critical understanding and practice of popular sovereignty. The episode finishes with Gianpaolo's reflection on how he relates his position as a university researcher in New York City with current activist and political engagements.

Erschienen: 02.11.2020
Dauer: 00:57:58

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Radical Municipal Politics in Latin America since the 1990s"


COVID-19 and its impact on public life and use of public space

International perspectives: cases of Dortmund (Germany), San Francisco (USA) and Isfahan (Iran)

This episode discusses the impact of COVID-19 on the behavior of people in public spaces in Dortmund (Germany), San Francisco (USA) and Isfahan (Iran). My guests, Teresa Sprague and Ghazal Farjami, and I (Mais Jafari) explain how people in these societies perceive and react to social distancing, mask wearing, and other measures in a variety of public space typologies such as city streets, parks, beaches, plazas and indoor spaces like shopping malls and restaurants and other social centers. Finally, we share our views from our own observation and scholarly background on what the new normality in these three cities will look like in the post COVID-19 world and what the major shifts in planning, especially at the design and use of urban spaces will be.

Erschienen: 14.09.2020
Dauer: 00:51:02

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "COVID-19 and its impact on public life and use of public space"


Murray Bookchin, Municipalism, Popular Democracy and Left Politics

In this podcast we discuss the work of Murray Bookchin, relating it to the experiences and debates around municipalism and wider left political practices and theory. With our guests (Blair, Hilary and Kate) we focus the discussion on the recent edited collection of Bookchin's work: The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso), edited by Debbie Bookchin and Blair Taylor. Reflecting, but going beyond, the broad range of topics addressed by Bookchin in the book, we cover a lot of ground, such as the role of the state in left politics, sources of transformative change, 'reason', 'knowledge' and politics, popular democracy, the new municipalism in Barcelona and municipal socialism in 1980s London. **Blair Taylor** Program director of the Institute for Social Ecology, a popular education center for ecological scholarship and advocacy founded in 1974. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research, and has written on U.S. social movements, contemporary far-right politics, political ecology, and the history of the left. His work has been featured in Les Temps Modernes, American Studies, and City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action. He is co-editor of the Murray Bookchin anthology The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso, 2014). He lives outside Seattle, Washington, and is active with West Sound Democratic Socialists of America. **Hilary Wainwright** Co-editor, Red Pepper: www.redpepper.org.uk (if you don't yet subscribe why not look at the RED PEPPER PAY-AS-YOU-FEEL SUBSCRIPTION? go to the website and click 'subscribe' for an unmissable offer) Fellow, Transnational Institute:www.tni.org

Erschienen: 05.07.2020
Dauer: 01:16:33

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Murray Bookchin, Municipalism, Popular Democracy and Left Politics"


Multiple Crises and Radical Urban Research (AfterCorona #13)

Margit Mayer on Tipping Points and Scholarly Politics of Mobilization

Starting off from her latest agenda-setting article "What does it mean to be a radical urban scholar-activist, or activist scholar today?" published earlier this year in the relaunch issue of the journal _CITY – analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action_. It was published before the pandemic shock and the current wave of Black Lives Matter protests took off. In our conversation, Margit will thus discuss with us her notion of three tipping points in light of these pressing concerns but also highlight the opportunities for political change and how the anti-racist protests have created a collective agency whose vibrancy compares to the movements of the 1960s. In this situation, urban researchs are called not only to scholarly rigor but also to a politics of mobilization. **Margit Mayer** has been professor for comparative and North American politics at Freie Universität Berlin, as of 2014 she is Senior Fellow at the Center for Metropolitan Studies at Technical University Berlin. Her research focuses on comparative, urban and social politics as well as social movements. She has published on various aspects of contemporary urban politics, urban theory, (welfare) state restructuring, social movements, and migrant (support) organizing. She co-authored _Nonprofits in the Transformation of Employment Policies_ (2004), co-edited _Urban Movements in a Globalising World_ (2000), _Cities for People not for Profit_ (2012), _Neoliberal Urbanism and Its Contestations_ (2012). and _Urban Uprisings: Challenging the Neoliberal City in Europe_ (2016). **Article Reference:** Mayer, Margit, 2020. "What does it mean to be a (radical) urban scholar-activist, or activist scholar, today?". _City_ 24 (1/2): 1-17.

Erschienen: 28.06.2020
Dauer: 01:03:56

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Multiple Crises and Radical Urban Research (AfterCorona #13)"


The Revolutionary Movements in Algeria and Lebanon (AfterCorona #12)

protests and movements in the time of the pandemic

This episode delves deep into the ongoing revolutionary movements in Algeria and Lebanon. Ratiba Hadj-Moussa and Rana Sukarieh provide us with a rich and inspiring account of developments, offering social-economic background to the events of the last two years, outlining the main contours of the political struggles in the two countries and drawing comparative insights. In particular we gain: a clear sense of the geographies of the movements, the solidarities and tensions within them, the crucial place of women activists and gender as a focal point, and how the state is reacting to these diverse demands for justice and democracy. We also consider how Covid-19 has shaped developments. Guests: Ratiba Hadj-Moussa is professor of Sociology at York University, Toronto. Her areas of specialization are the sociology of culture and political sociology. Her interests range from common cultural artefacts to art (cinema) and visual culture in general. My work is anchored within the scope of three major fields: 1. Mediascapes, principally new media, in relation to politics and shared spaces as they are constituted and evolve in non-Western contexts; 2. Marginalized forms of protest and new forms of the political; 3, Public Memory and its relations to alternatives and official memories. Her recent publications include La télévision par satellite au Maghreb et ses publics. Espace de résistance, espaces critiques (PUG-2015, English version Cambridge Scholars Publishing,2018). She is the editor of Terrains difficiles, Sujets sensibles, faire de la recherche au Maghreb et sur le Moyen-Orient (Du Croquant, 2019), and the co-editor of Protests and Generations, Legacies and Emergences in the Middle East , North African and the Mediterranean (Brill, 2017) ; Suffering , Arts and Aesthetics (2014), and of Les Mondes méditerranéens . L’émeute au coeur du politique (2013). Rana Sukarieh is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at York University, Toronto, Canada. Her dissertation focuses on the (dis)continuity of political solidarity with the Palestinian Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and the process of transcending activists’ differences in order to build sustained solidarity. Rana's research interests are in the areas of transnational social movements, social movements and political economy in the Middle East, critical qualitative research, and post-colonial studies. She is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council award (SSHRC), of Ontario Graduate Studies (OGS), and the Nathanson Centre on Transnational Human Rights, Crime and Security award at York University. She is currently teaching at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Erschienen: 17.06.2020
Dauer: 01:41:02

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "The Revolutionary Movements in Algeria and Lebanon (AfterCorona #12)"


Genealogies of Liveability (AfterCorona #11)

Neoliberal urbanism and the rise of Jan Gehl

Nina Stener Jørgensen and Maroš Krivý offer us the broader picture of the contemporary urbanist discourse of liveability and Jan Gehl's rise to prominence. In a tour de force, they walk us through Gehl's original work within the Danish welfare state of the 1960s, his indebtedness to the contributions of his wife Ingrid, his rise to stardom following Al Gore's liveability agenda, and why his success throws a shadow even on people like Richard Florida. The political responses to the Covid-19 situation show no significant disruption with the liveability discourse but possibly allow for a new round of implementations in public space. The presented critique situates the liveability approach in the context of neoliberal urbanism that posits equality while simultaneously remaining blind, if not covering up structural inequalities and social conflicts. In effect, the current Black Lives Matter protests against anti-Black racism confront this paradigm with the question: Liveability for whom? **Guests:** **Maroš Krivý** is Associate Professor and Director of Urban Studies at the Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts. He was previously a Research Associate in the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. His work, situated at the intersections of urban geography and architectural history, has been published in journals such as _IJURR, Planning Theory, Architectural Histories, The Journal of Architecture, Footprint_ and _Avery Review_. Maroš contributed to a number of edited collections, including _Neoliberalism on the Ground_ (University of Pittbusrgh Press, 2020) and _Second World Postmodernisms_ (Bloomsbury, 2019). Nina Stener Jørgensen is a PhD student at the Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts, working on a thesis that investigates the intersection of Participation, Cybernetics and Urbanism in 1960’s western architectural discourse.

Erschienen: 10.06.2020
Dauer: 01:21:10

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Genealogies of Liveability (AfterCorona #11)"


Urban Commonwealth (AfterCorona #10)

Margaret Kohn on Solidarism, Scales, and the State

On the basis of the book _The Death and Life of the Urban Commonwealth_, we discuss with Margaret Kohn her resuscitation of the early 20th century solidarist ideas and the links to the Lefebvrian notion of the right to the city. We challenge her on the question of scale and the role of the state in solidarist thinking, how all of this may enlighten the response to the Covid-19 moment, and recommend that you listen to her smart and thoughtful reflections. **Margaret Kohn** is a professor of political science at the University of Toronto. She received her MA and PhD from Cornell University. Her most recent book _The Death and Life of the Urban Commonwealth_ was published by Oxford University Press (2016). It won the David Easton Award for Best Book in Political Theory and the Judd Award for Best Book in Urban and Local Politics. She is the author of _Radical Space: Building the House of the People_ (Cornell University Press 2003), and _Brave New Neighborhoods: The Privatization of Public Space_ (Routledge 2004) and _Political Theories of Decolonization_ (with Keally McBride, Oxford University Press, 2011). She has been a Fulbright Fellow and a Braudel Senior Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. She has also served as Acting Director of the Centre for Ethics and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Scarborough.

Erschienen: 02.06.2020
Dauer: 00:47:06

Podcast-Webseite: Episode "Urban Commonwealth (AfterCorona #10)"


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