Urban Addendum

City planning finds its validation in the intuitive recognition that a burgeoning market society can not be trusted to produce spontaneously a habitable, sanitary, or even efficient city, much less a beautiful one. - Murray Bookchin, The Limits of the City (1986).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Who has the right to the city?

History is repeated, as the right to the city is protected only for the rich, that take over the cities' centers, and the poor continue to lose theirs. A good example is the foreclosure crisis in USA, initiated by large banks and other lenders. These financial institutions, in order to augment the capital surplus, lent to the property developers, to develop large areas of the city. These big investments would have been fruitless if the same institutions hadn't introduce the working class to the new home loans. More and more low-income people were bought into the debt environment and became capable to buy the new houses and to create a demand based on debt. Of course after a while the property bubble burst and the property prices started to come down. A foreclosure wave hit the American cities and the people that were " in the eye of the tornado", were the low-income communities in many of the older cities in the United States. The sensitive group of the low-income populations lost their assets and their homes and the financial institutions became much richer and accumulated more and more wealth under their possession.

The foreclosures in the city of Cleveland (2007) -first map- are highly concentrated in the African American population majority areas - second map-. 



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