A renewed right to urban life: A twenty-first century engagement with Lefebvre's initial "cry"

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Architectural Theory Review, 2011, 16 (3), pp. 278 - 295
Issue Date:
2011-12-01
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This paper is concerned with how space is socially produced and the struggles this process entails. Critically engaging with readings of Henri Lefebvre's spatial notion of the right to the city we contemplate its radical potency to reconstitute a renewed right to urban life. We argue that the right to the city has substantial contemporary import, extending to spatial practitioners such as architects. This conclusion is reached by exploring the neoliberal imperative to conquer space, grappling with the issue of social justice as a means to decipher who (re)produces the city and in what ways. Highly visible strategies are contrasted with some less visible counter-practices, by developing a conceptual framework that emphasises ACCESSING, BEING and PARTICIPATING in the city. We contend that "little victories" offer location-specific insights into alternative methods of production, and pose some unsettling questions for architects. © 2011 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
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