post/blog from an Anti-Gentrification Working Group: “Right to the City Montreal” citing Harvey and Lefebvre…

Right to the City Montreal

What is gentrification?

Gentrification is a complex and contested issue. While there are many, some times conflictual definitions of gentrification, some common themes hold true: In contemporary post-industrial cities, the trend is characterized by renewed development interest in disadvantaged inner city areas, and the influx of a new, wealthy (‘gentry’) population. Old housing is refurbished alongside the construction of new buildings and services that cater to the higher-earning and more privileged population that moves in. This ultimately means the ‘upscaling’ and transformation of the area and its demographics as higher home values, land speculation, and the area as a development ‘hot spot’ lead to the breaking of the community fabric via the violent uprooting and displacement of the area’s previous population, one often systemically disadvantaged and in a position that makes resistance to these processes difficult.

 

What is colonization?

Colonization is defined as the practice of invading other lands…

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CFP–new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies launched

Visit the new Journal of Urban Cultural Studies site here.

Call for Papers

The Journal of Urban Cultural Studies is a new peer-reviewed publication cutting across both the humanities and the social sciences in order to better understand the culture(s) of cities. The journal is open to studies that deal with culture, urban spaces and forms of urbanized consciousness the world over.

Although we embrace a broad definition of urban cultural studies, we are particularly interested in submissions that give equal weight to: a) one or more aspects of urban studies (everyday life, built environment, architecture, city planning, identity formation, transportation…) and b) analysis of one or more specific forms of cultural/textual production (literature, film, graphic novels, music, art, graffiti, videogames, online or virtual space…) in relation to a given urban space or spaces.

Essays of 7,000-10,000 words (including works cited and notes) should be sent by attachment to the Editor at urbanculturalstudies@gmail.com. JUCS is also open to proposals of special issues by guest editors working individually or in teams of two. All citations in other languages should be translated into English for the journal’s international reading public, in addition to including the original text.

While the journal does not publish book reviews, we do publish review essays—which should discuss 3-5 recent books on a shared topic or theme (or place) and run from 2,500 to 4,000 words. Review essays of urban-themed installations or other works of art are also welcome. These essays will be reviewed in house. Given our visual focus, we are interested in original, unpublished artwork on the topic of cities and in publishing articles accompanied by images where appropriate.

We encourage a variety of approaches to the urban phenomenon—the strengths of the editorial board run from urban geography to literature and film, photography and videogames, gender and sexuality, creative economy, popular music, Marxist approaches, fashion, urban planning, anthropology, sociology, Deaf culture, built environment, philosophy, architecture, detective fiction and noir, and more…

Urbanized – view entire documentary online here

I’m currently about 30 minutes (out of approx. 86 minutes) through Urbanized which I am watching here, I see it is the third documentary in a series by Gary Hustwit who also did Helvetica (a documentary on what is aptly called there something along the lines of the ‘font of gentrification’ – watch it when you get a chance).

The images and composition are incredible, and I can imagine using this as a first assignment in an Introduction to Urban Studies course or equivalent…

Many basics and themes that could be expanded upon in subsequent discussions – Haussmann, Garden Cities, public transportation and democracy Robert Moses vs. Jane Jacobs – specific locations featured so far include Santiago Chile, Mumbai, Bogota, Brasilia, Copenhagen, un-cumbersome interviews with a variety of architects, nyc city planner, etc. so far seeming to be very inclusive geographically.

Urban Forest (Public Installation) — Montreal

Continuing with the nature and the city discussion, here are some photos recently taken on a trip to Montreal of the Urban Forest outside the city’s McCord Museum.

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More information is available through links found here, visually intriguing in person for sure, and the museum itself has much to offer.

Nineteenth-century Montreal thru images

“The splendour and misery of urban life”
Michèle Dagenais, Université de Montréal

[What makes this brief video stand out is the inclusion of original black-and-white 19th-century images…]

At the end of the 19th century urbanization intensified. Cities and their factories were drawing people from the countryside like magnets: the land could no longer support all of them. In addition, immigrants were pouring into Canada from all over, hoping to start a new life….