Review of Jerusalem Unbound

Society and space

9780231161961Oren Shlomo reviews Michael Dumper’s book Jerusalem Unbound: Geography, History and the Future of the Holy City (Columbia University Press, 2014).

The violent events of the summer of 2014 in Jerusalem were a tangible reminder of the explosive tension that characterizes inter-group relations in the contested city. Those events brought to life the lines between Israeli and Palestinian urban spaces, especially in the northern parts of the city, and highlighted them as rigid internal boundaries between the two communities. Michael Dumper’s book, written prior to those events, offers an outstanding and wide analytical overview of Jerusalem’s inner and external borders. Continue reading Oren’s reviewhere.

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Two Perspectives on the Baltimore Riots

Deterritorial Investigations Unit

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Brian Holmes, via Nettime:

As I recall, the finest hour of the American collectivity was the civil rights movement back in the ’60s. As I recall, we got a president today who was elected in honor of that movement. As I recall, the finest hour of the American collectivity involved huge riots, cities in flames, national guard on the streets. As I recall, everyone in America is duty bound by law to recall how fine was that hour. As I recall, some bastards who behave exactly like the military on foreign soil just broke an innocent man’s neck because they didn’t like the way he looked. As I recall, that does not exactly fit with our finest ideals.

Who knows where this thing is gonna go? Please remember that the rebellions of Detroit and Newark in ’67, and just about everywhere in ’68, were followed by the most extreme right-wing repression we have ever known in this country. And that was…

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Getting a grip on the vacant housing problem (plus: urban geology!)

David Wachsmuth

Urban geologist? What's that? Urban geologist? What’s that?

A new City of Vancouver proposal to start addressing the city’s scourge of speculation-driven housing vacancy is in the news. The municipal government wants to comprehensively identify vacant houses throughout the city, building on important work being done by the grassroots group Beautiful Empty Homes but leveraging governmental data (namely from BC Hydro) that the public doesn’t have access to.

I spoke to a number of news outlets about the proposal yesterday, starting with the Vancouver Sun, which focused on the spectre of xenophobia in discussions of Vancouver’s expensive property market. As I argued, though, the major issue here isn’t whether it’s foreigners buying houses or other Canadians, it’s that Vancouver’s housing market isn’t strongly connected to the local economy, and speculators buying properties but not living in them just makes that problem worse:

“The problem in Vancouver is that demand for housing doesn’t have that…

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Le Corbusier was ‘militant fascist’, two new books on French architect claim – Telegraph

Civism and Cities

France’s best-known 20th century architect, Le Corbusier, was a “militant fascist” who was far more anti-Semitic and a fan of Hitler than previously thought, two new books reveal.

The unsettling disclosures about the links of one of the world’s most famous modern architects to France’s wartime collaborationist Vichy regime have been released just ahead of a major Paris exhibition of his work.

It has long been known that Le Corbusier, famed for his revolutionary concrete creations, including a housing project in Marseille called La Cité Radieuse, had some ties to France’s collaborationist regime under Field Marshal Philippe Pétain.

But the latest, far more damning, revelations have shocked admirers and threaten to cast a shadow over commemorations of the 50th anniversary of his death.

Paris’s Pompidou Centre, which is to open a three-month long exhibition dedicated to Le Corbusier on April 29th, faces allegations of totally failing to mention the controversy.

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