The Main Challenges Of Creating More Socially Equitable Cities Of The 21st Century?

3149 Words Aug 30th, 2014 13 Pages
What is the ‘right to the city’? What are the major challenges in creating more socially equitable cities in the 21st century?
Matthew Templin - 541746
The 20th century played witness to an urban renaissance, driven largely by global economic forces. Populations migrated to cities en masse to harness the prospect and prosperity that urban life promised. Neoliberalism was crucial to this shift, with the philosophy demanding ‘free markets’, privatisation, and the overall reduction in government control of the economy. Peck & Tickell express that whilst neoliberalism emerged from utopian roots its development as the dominant rationalisation for globalisation has resulted in widespread socio-economic inequality at local-global scales (2002, p.23). It is argued that through neoliberalism, the ‘social’ is given no consideration and is considered to be a contextual factor shaping the geographically variable manifestations of neoliberal tendencies (Barnett, 2005). Inequality is physically manifested through poverty, informal settlements and forceful evictions, whilst it is intangibly apparent through the destruction of civil rights and class/power relations. In direct opposition to capitalist trends, social movements have adopted Lefebvrian philosophy to ensure greater democratic inclusion to decisions that shape urban space.
Originally developed by French philosopher Henri Lefebvre (Lefebvre et al., 1996), The Right to the City formulates a set of principles and ideas aimed at…
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