Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Right to the City Alliance

Right to the City Alliance is a national alliance of racial,economic and environmental justice organizations. We emerged in 2007 as a unified response to gentrification and a call to halt the displacement of low-income people, LGBTQ, and youths of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. Through shared principles and a common theory of change, RTTC is building a national movement for urban justice, human rights, and democracy. RTTC seeks to create regional and national impacts in the fields of housing, human rights, urban land, community development, civic engagement, criminal justice, environmental justice, and more.

Also see "Interview with Peter Marcuse: Critical Urban Theory and the Right to the City" from the Polis blog.

From the interview:

Q: Please give us a brief overview of your work in formulating a theory of critical planning.

A: After 20 years of practicing law, defending civil rights cases, unions, tenants, as well as better-paying clients, I decided to quit law and get a PhD in urban planning because its seemed to me that urban planning represented a combination of my two main concerns: understanding how the system we were living in actually functioned, and doing something about the injustices and inequalities it created. It is where the rubber of theory hits the ground of reality, notably in cities. But much of urban planning, I found, did not deal with issues of justice and equality, but rather with technical arrangements to facilitate the functioning of the system as it was, injustices and all. So I’ve tried, over almost 50 years, to focus on those problems of urban policy that involve the difficult issues of social justice, such as rent control, homelessness, global competitiveness, gentrification and displacement, mortgage foreclosures, racial discrimination, social movements, feminist critiques, planning education, on most of which I’ve been active and published extensively. The work on Critical Planning is, in a sense, my attempt to put it all together.

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