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The New Urban Question

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Based on the forthcoming book of the same title, the talk will trace the connections between radical urban theory and political activism. From Haussmann’s use of urban planning to rid 19th-century Paris of revolution to contemporary urban disaster-zones such as downtown Detroit, Merrifield reveals how the urban experience has been profoundly shaped by class antagonism and been the battle-ground for conspiracies, revolts and social eruptions. Going beyond the work of earlier urban theorists such as Manuel Castells, Merrifield identifies the new urban question that has emerged and demands urgent attention, as the city becomes a site of active plunder by capital and the setting for new forms of urban struggle, from Occupy to the indignados.

This talk is part of the Cambridge City Seminar at CRASSH series.

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