The Housing Question Revisited | New Issue of ACME and 2012 panel at AAG wih Neil Smith

ACME 15(3) is out, including a special section—coordinated by Henrik Gutzon Larsen, Anders Lund Hansen, Gordon MacLeod and Tom Slater—devoted to revisit Engels’ The Housing Question through a number of case studies and a transcription of Neil Smith’s intervention on this topic at the 2012 AAG meeting.

The video of the whole panel during that event is also available on Vimeo via Anders Lund Hansen. It includes contributions by Ute Lehrer, Gordon MacLeod, Peter Marcuse, Kate Shaw, Tom Slater and Smith.

Publicado en Conflicto urbano, Derecho a la ciudad, Espacio social, Espacio y política, Housing, Neil Smith, Neoliberalismo, The Housing Question, Vivienda social | Etiquetado , , , , , , , , , , , , | Deja un comentario

Interview about Foucault’s Last Decade on New Books in Critical Theory (audio)

Enlace a una larga entrevista a Stuart Elden sobre su reciente libro, Foucault’s Last Decade (Polity, 2016).

Progressive Geographies

A few weeks ago I was interviewed by Dave O’Brien of Goldsmiths about Foucault’s Last Decadefor the New Books in Critical Theory series. The recording is now available as a podcast: Download (Duration: 47:54 — 21.9MB) or to stream at the series website.


Why did Michel Foucault radically recast the project of The History of Sexuality? How did he work collaboratively? What was the influence of Antiquity on his thought? In Foucault’s Last Decade (Polity Press, 2016) Stuart Elden, Professor of Political Theory and Geography at the University of Warwick explores these, and many more, questions about the final years in a rich intellectual life. The book combines detailed studies of Foucault’s recently collected lecture series with archival material and his publications, to give an in depth engagement with the changes and continuities in his thought during the last decade. Addressing questions associated with key terms…

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Video abstract – Diarmaid Kelliher’s “Constructing a Culture of Solidarity: London and the British Coalfields in the Long 1970s”

Last week on we featured all the papers forthcoming in January 2017 in Antipode 49(1). Here we delve a bit deeper, looking at Diarmaid Kelliher’s contribution, “Constructing a Culture of Solidarity: London and the British Coalfields in the Long 1970s”.

When we spoke with him about his essay, Diarmaid explained:

This article is centrally concerned with the development of relationships of solidarity between different localities over an extended period of time. While the 1984-85 miners’ strike was in many ways a spectacular event, I try to show that the significant level of support it received in part relied on the development of relationships in the previous 15 years. It is of course necessary to respond to specific political events, but this is itself easier if more longstanding relationships have been constructed. In particular, if solidarity is to be a mutual relationship this is far more likely to develop…

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I have updated the list of publications to share the preprint version of ‘Gramsci and Foucault in Central Park: environmental hegemonies, pedagogical spaces and integral state formations’ (via—forthcoming soon in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space—and to include several other links to previous work.

Publicado en Central Park, Commons, Conflicto urbano, Diseño urbano, Espacio y política, Landscape architecture, Mis publicaciones | Etiquetado , , , | Deja un comentario

Parks, politics, and the general interest | Design studio at the School of Madrid

During this semester one of the courses I coordinate, ‘Urbanism and the City,’ will focus on the district of Chamberí, in Madrid, and particularly on some of its sites in contention, especially Parque Santander, better known as Parque del Canal de Isabel II, a space located over one of the biggest water reservoirs of the city. The place is sadly notorious for a wicked political management that perfectly illustrates how planning and urban design can become means to manipulate and produce a distorted ‘general interest’ that articulates political hegemonies and urban imaginations. Many years ago the regional government decided to transform the initially planned park in a space devoted primarily to privately-run sports facilities, dedicating most of the surface area to a huge artificial driving range for golfers—the ridiculous type shown at the end of Wim Wenders’ Tokyo-Ga. The change was justified on the grounds that golf was a matter of ‘general interest’ for madrileños. A grand publicity campaign was used then to persuade the citizens of the significance of this particular sport for Madrid and its benefits for health. Meanwhile, the company of the regional vice president’s brother-in-law got the contract to manage the facilities…

General view of the so-called Parque Santander

General view of the so-called Parque Santander

The former President of the Regional Parliament promotes golf as a fashionable sport for Madrid

The former President of the Regional Parliament promotes golf as a fashionable sport for Madrid

The solution was perverse per se taking into account that the so-called ‘park’ is situated on public property, but the scheme is even more outrageous if we consider that the district has the lowest ratio of green space per inhabitant in Madrid. The community, with the help of a number of activists and architects, has used this argument for more than a decade to demand the dismantling of the sports services and the creation of the originally planned park and, after a long struggle, the courts have supported their initiative, endorsing the idea that public parks are more ‘interesting’ for the public than enclosed driving ranges, or golf for that matter. The installation is now illegal and it will have to be removed soon. The site’s future, however, is unwritten, so we have devised the intervention of students as an instrument to visualize the problematic and help the community to develop their ideas and proposals.

M;archa y concentracion en defensa de los parques e instalaciones deportivas y en contra de las especulacion privada y la corrupcion en los Parques del Canal de Isabel II y las instalaciones de golf de estos. Madrid. Madrid. Espana. 11-10.2013. Fotografo: Gonzalo Arroyo

Community actions reclaiming a proper park

Community actions reclaiming a proper park

There was a previous attempt to rethink this space and nearby areas at the School of Architecture of Madrid last year, but the focus then was not directly linked to the community’s struggle. This time the students will start with an analysis of the neighbors’ complaints and existing proposals in order to design alternative solutions which are specifically focused on the provision of public open space and facilities for a number of large plots in the area, also including major infrastructural equipment around Parque Santander. The possibility of having students getting involved in open processes and debates with a deep political substrate, and of passing their proposals to the neighbors at the end of the course so that they can use them for their own initiatives was a pedagogical opportunity we couldn’t miss—the area could become the largest participatory landscape design in the city center.

One of the initial activities with the neighbors will take place next Friday afternoon, a critical visit to the spaces under dispute, open to those interested within and outside the School.


Durante este semestre una de las asignaturas que coordino, Ciudad y urbanismo, estará centrada en el barrio madrileño de Chamberí y en particular en algunos de sus espacios en disputa, especialmente el Parque de Santander, más conocido como el Parque del Canal de Isabel II. El lugar es tristemente conocido por una nefasta gestión política que ilustra a la perfección cómo el urbanismo puede convertirse en medio de manipulación y producción del ‘interés general’ como sustancia que articula hegemonías políticas e imaginarios de la ciudad. En su momento el gobierno regional decidió transformar el parque inicialmente previsto en un espacio dedicado fundamentalmente a instalaciones deportivas con gestión privada, buena parte de las mismas dedicadas a un gigantesco campo de prácticas para aficionados al golf. Tras una larga lucha finalmente los vecinos, apoyados por activistas y arquitectos, parecen salir victoriosos gracias a una nueva y aparentemente definitiva sentencia que, una vez más, confirma la ilegalidad de la instalación de golf actualmente existente. Chamberí presenta la ratio más baja de zonas verdes públicas por habitante de Madrid, argumento que los vecinos han empleado para reclamar el desmantelamiento parcial de las instalaciones deportivas y la creación del parque inicialmente previsto cuando se decidió reconvertir el espacio, que alberga uno de los depósitos de agua del Canal YII, para hacerlo practicable y abrirlo al público.

Durante el curso pasado ya hubo un intento en la Escuela de Arquitectura de Madrid de repensar este espacio junto a otros ámbitos cercanos gestionados por el Canal YII, pero el enfoque en aquel momento no estaba directamente ligado a la historia de reivindicación vecinal del barrio. En esta ocasión hemos planteado a los alumnos partir de un análisis del barrio y de las reclamaciones y propuestas ya consolidadas por los vecinos para dar una respuesta directa en términos de espacios libres y equipamientos públicos al futuro de estos y otros grandes solares del ámbito, que incluyen también las cocheras de Metro en Cuatro Caminos, el garaje del Parque Móvil de Ministerios y el Taller de Artillería en el remate de la c/ Raimundo Fernández Villaverde. La posibilidad de poner a los estudiantes en contacto directo con espacios actualmente abiertos al debate en la ciudad, y de transmitir sus propuestas a los vecinos al final de curso con el fin de que éstos puedan encontrar en ellas ideas para sus propias iniciativas es una oportunidad pedagógica mayor, que no podíamos desaprovechar. El ámbito podría convertirse en el futuro en el mayor parque con diseño participativo del centro de la ciudad… con permiso de la Dehesa de la Villa, que durante años ha sido objeto de acciones de plantación de iniciativa ciudadana.

Este viernes 23 por la tarde desarrollaremos una de las actividades conjuntas con los vecinos, en una recorrido crítico por los espacios en disputa del barrio al que pueden sumarse todos aquellos interesados dentro y fuera de la ETSAM.

Publicado en Commons, Comunes, Conflicto urbano, Diseño urbano, Espacio público, Espacio y política | Etiquetado , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 comentarios

Society and Space 34(5) out now – including free to access forum on area studies and geography

Society and space

The October 2016 issue of Environment and Planning D: Society and Space is out now! It contains a forum on ‘area studies and geography’ guest edited by James Sidaway, Elaine Ho, Jonathan Rigg and Chih Yuan Woon, plus five stand-alone articles.

The forum introduction and essays are free to access until October 14. Access to the articles requires subscription.

Forum on ‘Area Studies and Geography’ 

Area Studies and Geography: Trajectories and ManifestoJames D Sidaway, Elaine LE Ho, Jonathan D Rigg, and Chih Yuan Woon 777-790.

Trans-Area Studies and the Perils of Geographical ‘World-Writing’Sharad Chari 791-798
‘After’ Area Studies? Place-based Knowledge for our TimeJK Gibson-Graham 799-806
Is a “Critical” Area Studies Possible?Natalie Koch 807-814
Unthinking the Nation State as Area: Interrogating Japan and Japanese StudiesChris McMorran 815-821
Italian Studies, Italian Theory and the Politics of Trans-lationClaudio Minca 822-829
Locating Caribbean Studies in Unending Conversation

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Forthcoming in Antipode…

As the summer comes to an end and a new semester begins, we’re looking forward to 2017 and the papers forthcoming in Antipode 49(1) in January–all of which are available online now (and will be freely available in the new year).

The Editorial Collective, September 2016

Energy Colonialism and the Role of the Global in Local Responses to New Energy Infrastructures in the UK: A Critical and Exploratory Empirical Analysis

Susana Batel and Patrick Devine-Wright

Susana and Patrick argue that their paper on public responses to large-scale low-carbon energy infrastructures offers lessons for people engaging with other matters of concern, including immigration, contemporary populist politics, and the future of the EU. What role do intergroup relations, collective narratives, and geographical imaginaries play in these phenomena?

Conveyer-Belt Justice: Precarity, Access to Justice, and Uneven Geographies of Legal Aid in UK Asylum Appeals

Andrew Burridge and Nick Gill

Andrew and Nick’s discussion of the frames of “luck”, “uncertainty”, and “dislocation” explores a…

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