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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 pu ...
 
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show series
 
Updates from Andrej Holm and Joanna Kusiak On the 26th of September over million Berliners voted to expropriate and return to public ownership over 200,000 homes in the city. Deutsche Wohnen und Co Enteignen targeted a number of large real estate companies in Berlin that had control of what had previously been social housing stock. The referendum i…
 
In this Urban Political Special, Elisabet Van Wymeersch, Stijn Oosterlynck, Claudia Seldin, Roger Keil, Luce Beeckmans, and Manuel B. Aalbers are talking about their experiences at the RC21 conference 2021 – the annual conference of the International Sociological Association Research Committee 21 on Urban and Regional Development. Our guests share …
 
After discussing expropriation efforts in Berlin recently, this episode will widen the discussion of housing commons to perspectives, differences, and potentials in Europe and the US. Housing was and remains one of the crucial social issues of our time. From Friedrich Engels discussion of the housing question to the idea of ‘commons’ gaining more t…
 
‘How can academic research be of service to envisioning alternative planning agendas that reflect the realities of the so-called Global South?’ is the central question that our guest host Inhji Jon stresses in this episode. Since Western-centric planning approaches imposes norms on places and times where they are inappropriate, we need to explore t…
 
Green cities and green infrastructure have become common planning practices. But why is nature good and how does green matter? Do all people have equal access to nature, or are some left out of contemporary climate planning? Furthermore, what impact will COVID 19 and climate crisis have on future green city planning? These and other questions are d…
 
On April 15, Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court overturned Berlin’s rent cap. This immediately led to a massive spontaneous protest with 15,000 people voicing their concerns and proclaiming their right to the city. Moreover, within a week after the court’s decision the number of signatures for the grassroots campaign ‘Deutsche Wohnen & Co entei…
 
Interview with Andrej Holm From Friedrich Engel's series 'Zur Wohnungsfrage‘ to the decision of Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court on the #Berlin #RentCap last week: housing was and remains one of the crucial social issues of our time. Together with Andrej Holm, we discuss the social and political consequences of the Court's decision that the B…
 
This podcast explores how the pandemic is changing density around the world and generating forms of politics. With a diverse group of scholars and practitioners from around the world, the podcast addresses the following specific questions/ themes: How should density be conceived and why is it important to understanding cities (and the pandemic)? Wh…
 
Decolonizing Engagements in Bremen and Lancaster The transatlantic slave trade had a lasting impact not only on the development of big ports like Liverpool, London, Nantes or Bordeaux, but also in cities that far less frequently associated with slavery. In this episode, four researcher-activists from Bremen and Lancaster speak about how slavery is …
 
with Nitin Bathla, Sandra Jasper, and Tino Buchholz Emerging film-makers and urban researchers Nitin Bathla, Sandra Jasper, and Tino Buchholz speak about their avenues into film-production, why film amounts to a vital medium for urban research, and what it would mean to enhance its role in urban studies. This episode is also full of urban film insp…
 
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 d…
 
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 landscap…
 
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 …
 
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 m…
 
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 societie…
 
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 D…
 
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 pub…
 
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 po…
 
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 …
 
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 s…
 
Experiential approaches, risk and discomfort Robin Chang and Meg Holden discuss how the Covid-19 situation has disrupted teaching and learning practices in urban research, deepening existing and exposing new inequalities. They consider in particular the short and long term implications of on-going restrictions for experiential learning, what this m…
 
Comparing Urban Responses to the Pandemic and their Implications Reflecting on how shocks are applied as tools to further political agendas, Creighton Connolly, S. Harris Ali, and Roger Keil consider the implications for racialized inequalities and the Global South-North divide. Two months after the first conversation with out guests, at a moment w…
 
Experiences in India and Canada How is the pandemic affecting conditions of labour and migrant workers? How are Unions and other organisations reacting? In this wide-ranging and forensic discussion with Michelle Buckley (Toronto), Rajan Pandey (Bangalore) and Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay (Mohali) tell us about on-going struggles around mobility and labo…
 
Insights from Kenya and South Africa with J.A. Akallah and M. Huchzermeyer Reporting from Kenya and South Africa with Jethron Ayumba Akallah and Marie Huchzermeyer provide us with a detailed account of the coronavirus-pandemic in their context, the conditions within the informal settlements, the state approaches and the responses by civic organizat…
 
Kenya and South Africa with J.A. Akallah and M. Huchzermeyer This episode explores contemporary politics around land and infrastructure in informal settlements in Kenya and South Africa with Jethron Ayumba Akallah and Marie Huchzermeyer. This is the first part of the episode on informal settlements and provides the context for the second part which…
 
Rethinking Planning with Viola Schulze Dieckhoff and Christian Lamker In the episode we speak to Viola Schulze Dieckhoff (Technical University of Dortmund, Germany) and Christian Lamker (University of Groningen, the Netherlands) about the paradigm of post-growth and its relation to cities. In particular we discussed the roots of this concept and mo…
 
Colin McFarlane on politics, opportunities, and research ethics of the crisis Is density really the key variable to explain the dynamics of the pandemic? Colin McFarlane takes a critical look at accounts that blame urban density for the drama that is unfolding in many cities. McFarlane discusses how racalized divisions are exacerbated in this situa…
 
Insights from Mexico and Canada with Julie-Anne Boudreau Drawing on insights from her latest book "Global Urban Politics", Julie-Anne Boudreau puts the current response to the coronavirus in Mexico City and Montreal in a larger frame of understanding. She elaborates on the difference between urban and state logics of action and its importance to gr…
 
Labor, Homeschooling, and the Practice of Community Drawing on her understanding of community as an urban practice and her recent research on social and educational inequalities in Berlin, Talja Blokland underlines how the lockdown exacerbates inequalities in view of labor, education, and social capital. She presents her argument why digital media …
 
Laura Roth on Democracy and Feminism In the second part of the New Municipalism series, Ross talks to Barcelona-based scholar-activist Laura Roth. She talks about the Spanish experience, particularly in relation to Barcelona en Comú, the movement party, which has been in minority government since 2014. Laura talked about a range of issues, includin…
 
Cooperatives, Social Media, and Local Impacts In a moment of self-isolation and physical distancing, digital media promises ongoing civic deliberation and community organizing. Nathan Schneider helps us explore the role of social media for mutual aid and peer production in times of corona. He elaborates on the key decision we face between subscribi…
 
Containment, States of Exception, and Solidarity Three prominent urban researchers with a focus on infectious diseases explain why political responses to the current coronavirus outbreak require an understanding of urban dynamics. Looking back at the last coronavirus pandemic, the SARS outbreak in 2002/3, they highlight what affected cities have le…
 
Mexico City's Green Municipal Bonds and the role of standard setting organizations The crisis of 2008 has set into motion a growing influence of finance in municipalities. In particular, financial actors have identified an enormous "investment gap" in cities in the Global South. This trend intersects with a new set of urban development strategies, …
 
Exploring the urban dimension of the protests with Azun Candina and Daniel Opazo Chile despertó - Chile woke up - is a key slogan oft he ongoing uprisings in Chile that began in the capital Santiago in October 2019. Since then, heavy confrontations happened with the regime of president Piñera. For the first time since the dictatorship that ended in…
 
Interview with Bertie Russell and Matt Thompson What is "New Municipalism"? In this first of a new series Ross seeks clarification from scholar-activists Bertie Russell and Matt Thompson who give us a conceptual and historical take on this new urban movement, offering reflections on UK examples like Preston. The interview was recorded at the end of…
 
Queer Urban Space and Online Dating Looking for Love? Over the past decade, the market for online dating has been booming. And this did not leave the offline city unaffected. Listen to Sam Miles' sharp account on what online dating is all about and what it has to do with the urban. Far from being an innocent tool of the lonely hearts, online dating…
 
The Language of the City In a city, the idea of "standard language" falls apart. Linguistic researchers explain how urban space becomes a vital part of our ability to communicate in multilingual contexts. Think about "spatial repertoires" as the basis for communication. A market in Berlin-Kreuzberg, one of our guests' research site, is the backdrop…
 
An in-depth interview with Sampson Wong Activist-scholar Sampson Wong offers captivating insights on the current wave of protests that has galvanized Hong Kong since June. Sampson explains what is at stake, how the political dimension has gained predominance over economic concerns of the population, and why the protesters have become radicalized ov…
 
Roundtable on cultural heritage as a resource of community resistance Among critical scholars and urban activists, the care for heritage of an urban area is often associated with strategies to commercialize, to touristify the area and ultimately to pave the ground for gentrification. Neighborhood development based on its heritage all too often is g…
 
The Future of Post-War Settlements Post-war mass housing is at a crossroads in Western Europe. Demolition, densification, adaptation, or conservation? Two experts help us sort it out. Maren Harnack proposes what it requires to take advantage of the existing settlements from that period. And Miles Glendinning draws lessons of what we may learn from …
 
A Roundtable with Theresa Enright, Bérénice Bon, Philippe Koch, and Roger Keil Roger Keil's new book, 'Suburban Planet', is a major contribution to (re)thinking the urban age in terms its peripheries rather than its centres. He seeks to provide us with a way of coming to terms with the process of suburbanization and the diversity of suburban forms.…
 
Interview with Roger Keil on his book "Suburban Planet" We are living on a suburban planet, if you ask Roger. He even wrote a book with that title. In the interview, he elaborates on the political implications of that condition. Situating his work on global suburbanisms in relation to the L.A. School and the debate around planetary urbanization, he…
 
Roundtable with Richard Wolff, Kate Shaw, Tomislav Tomasevic, and Ulrike Hamann The call to make academic research more socially relevant has become a commonplace. But what does it mean to for academic research to benefit urban activism? What is to be done when the logics of academia obstruct deeper activist engagements? This roundtable engages the…
 
Berlin's left-wing government and the redevelopment of Checkpoint Charlie Part 2: Regaining Democratic Control The second part examines the extent to which democratic control has been exerted in the Checkpoint Charlie case and how development plans have been modified under increased pressure from societal groups. Listen to hear about the possibilit…
 
Berlin's left-wing government and the redevelopment of Checkpoint Charlie Part 1: Heritage Preservation and Urban Development Much-visited by tourists and generally avoided by Berliners, the site has faced growing conflict over plans to develop a hotel, Hard Rock Cafe and museum. This first part details the historical importance of the empty plots …
 
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