"Quality of urban life has become a commodity, as has the city itself, in a world where consumerism, tourism, cultural and knowledge-based industries have become major aspects of the urban political economy. The postmodernist penchant for encouraging the formation of market niches—in both consumer habits and cultural forms—surrounds the contemporary urban experience with an aura of freedom of choice, provided you have the money. Shopping malls, multiplexes and box stores proliferate, as do fast-food and artisanal market-places. We now have, as urban sociologist Sharon Zukin puts it, ‘pacification by cappuccino’. Even the incoherent, bland and monotonous suburban tract development that continues to dominate in many areas now gets its antidote in a ‘new urbanism’ movement that touts the sale of community and boutique lifestyles to fulfil urban dreams. This is a world in which the neoliberal ethic of intense possessive individualism, and its cognate of political withdrawal from collective forms of action, becomes the template for human socialisation."
@2 years ago with 2 notes
#Capitalism #David Harvey #Financial crisis #Georgia Street Collective #Globalisation #Paul Harris #Philosophy #Politics #Rebecca Solnit #The Guardian (UK) #Urban regeneration
— David Harvey “The Right to the City”, in New Left Review Sept/Oct 2008.
This falls squarely into a lot of recent/current thinking on environmental degradation, the Financial Crisis, globalisation, austerity and economic dispossession. While I certainly plan to explore this in the coming weeks from a photographic perspective, the compelling story of the Georgia Street Collective in Detroit, the brilliant essay on Detroit by Rebecca Solnit in Harper’s magazine and this video about urban renewal in Detroit all warrant a forceful mention. Take a look at all three if you can.