Is “Tactical Urbanism” an Alternative to Neoliberal Urbanism? By Neil Brenner


Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities

What can “tactical urbanism” offer cities under extreme stress from rapid population growth, intensifying industrial restructuring, inadequate social and physical infrastructures, rising levels of class polarization, insufficiently resourced public institutions, proliferating environmental disasters, and growing popular alienation, dispossession, and social unrest? The current MoMA exhibition Uneven Growth: Tactical Urbanisms for Expanding Megacities aims to explore this question through speculative interventions by teams of architects whose remit was to make design proposals for six of the world’s megacities—Hong Kong, Istanbul, Lagos, Mumbai, New York, and Rio de Janeiro. The exhibition has provoked considerable debate about our contemporary planetary urban condition and, more specifically, about the capacities of architects, urban designers, and planners to influence the latter in progressive, productive ways.

Such a debate is timely, not least because inherited paradigms of urban intervention—from the modernist-statist programs of the postwar epoch to the neoliberalizing, market-fundamentalist…

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