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Whose Cities? Our Cities!
Tue, October 3, 2017 @ 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM$85.00 – $115.00
Organized with the Urban Class Struggles group by Thomas Wensing
October 3 to December 12—no session November 21
In New York City, the self-proclaimed ‘real estate capital of the world’, working class housing has become either unaffordable or as cramped as 19th century conditions. The class that built, and continues to build New York and metropolises around the globe can no longer afford to live near where they work, while an international bourgeoisie of hyper-capital accumulation perch themselves in luxurious, multi-roomed occasional real estate. Whether it be New York, Tokyo, Paris, London, Rome or Lagos, the pattern repeats itself worldwide. Interconnectedness of global markets, deregulation of capital and mortgage markets, increased financialization of society, have all led to real estate in the metro centers serving as a prime instrument in the accumulation of global capital. Joining the mobile elite of hedge fund investors, Russian and Chinese oligarchs, oil sheiks, and billionaires are their criminal partners engaged in laundering, smuggling and multiple other illicit activities, all united hiding their identities and the source of their wealth through shell companies. These market forces that push the working classes out of the city and some into the ultimate austerity of homelessness are being met with growing resistance.
Our group will read Friedrich Engels’ “The Housing Question”, David Harvey’s Rebel Cities, David Madden and Peter Marcuse’s In Defense of Housing, Fear City by Kim Phillips-Fein and conclude with Zoned Out, edited by Tom Angotti and Sylvia Morse.
Our aim is to gain the historical and theoretical understanding that can inform our fight to wrest control of our cities from the capitalist class, and to discuss how cities can be reorganized to meet our human needs with a sustainable urban ecology.
Thomas Wensing works on residential and commercial projects at Morris Adjmi Architects. He holds licenses as an architect in both the UK and the Netherlands. He grew up in Den Helder, The Netherlands, and graduated from Delft University and Columbia University. His teaching experience includes the AA in London, Eindhoven University, and the University of Kent, in Canterbury. Thomas is a regular contributor to Blueprint Magazine and other publications.