Topical: Who is the city for?

The housing crisis sweeping across Europe concerns the majority of millennials. Unaffordable rents and prices raise a question about the actual purpose of cities. Read a compilation of our articles on urbanism, housing and cities.

  • Franco Bianchini, Jude Bloomfield, ‘Porous cities: On four European ports’ (2012)
    Walter Benjamin’s description of Naples as a ‘porous city’ absorbent of heterogeneity applies equally to other harbour cities. On cultural hybridity, economies of informality and strategies of creativity in four European ports.
  • Malcolm Miles, ‘A post-creative city?’ (2013)
    Culturally-led urban strategies rely more on selective images of cities than reflecting a socially and ethnically diverse urbanism. Under the surface, it is not civic renewal but economic and commercial motives that drive the cultural city.
  • Elke Rauth, ‘Smart tales of the city’ (2015)
    The smart city industry is continually conquering new terrain. The project shows disdain for the private sphere and puts the intelligence of governments and city-dwellers to the test.
  • Luiza Bialasiewicz, ‘The political geographies of Muslim visibility’ (2017)
    The Muslim presence in European cities is often concealed through formal restrictions on mosques and other signs of religiosity. Yet Muslims are also exposed as threats to the public order.
  • Dubravka Sekulic, ‘The ambiguities of informality’ (2018)
    Informal construction in Yugoslavia started as a response to housing shortages but after 1990 turned into a way to make money. To see Belgrade’s semi-legal architecture as proof that urbanization can be democratized is to overlook market forces.

This selection is part of our 4/2019 newsletter. Subscribe here to get the bi-weekly updates about latest publications and news on partner journals.

Aerial view of houses at Example residential district. Barcelona, Spain. Photo courtesy of Richard Sennett.