It Could Happen to You: Far Right Politics and The City (Symposium)

/It Could Happen to You: Far Right Politics and The City (Symposium)
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Democracy is under threat. All over the world, the politics of fear, division and discontent is pushing people to elect far-right, populist leaders who accentuate polarisation and division and undermine democratic institutions. This has consequences for how we plan and design our cities and for citizens’ RIGHT TO THE CITY.

Rationale of the Event

The British social scientist Doreen Massey (2011) claimed urban space as the dimension of multiplicity, and therefore the space of politics.

“If time is the dimension of sequence, then space is the space of contemporaneous existence. In that sense, it is the dimension of the social and, therefore, it is the dimension that poses the political question of how we are going to live together”.

The question of how we are going to live together in the city is more relevant than ever.

Cities are political spaces by excellence, because of the multiple and often contradictory claims on shared resources and spaces that must be negotiated, and agreed upon.

Massey calls this idea ‘radical simultaneity’, in which stories, ongoing trajectories and multiple voices happen simultaneously. Space is, therefore, composed by relations, practices and interactions imbued with power, and sometimes oppression.

This has profound implications for how we conceive the role of spatial planners and designers and the tools they use to mediate and steer competing claims over those spaces and resources. Our hypothesis is that, we must achieve agreement through inclusionary, democratic communication and participation, in which public conceptions of justice, democracy and the redistribution of the benefits and burdens of urban development are discussed and decided upon democratically.

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